Bangladesh to sign preferential trade agreement with Bhutan Sunday

Bangladesh is set to enter a new age of bilateral trade deals through the inking of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Bhutan on Sunday.

This will be the first bilateral PTA of Bangladesh, which will allow 34 Bhutanese products to get duty-free market access.

Also, 100 Bangladeshi products including readymade garment will get the same facility in Bhutan.

The two Asian neighbors will later be able to add more items to the duty-free list, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Saturday.

The trade agreement with Bhutan will mark the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the two Asian countries.

The PTA will be signed at a virtual program in Foreign Service Academy where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering will join.

Tipu Munshi and Bhutanese Economic Affairs Minister Loknath Sharma will sign the agreement.

Bhutan is the first country to recognize the independence of Bangladesh on December 6, 1971. The two countries have developed good social, political, economic and commercial ties then, the minister said.

Also, Bangladesh is expected to sign PTAs and free trade agreements (FTAs) with 11 more countries as it will lose its preferential market access once it moves out from the club of least developed countries to the developing ones in 2024, Tipu said.

“Bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Bhutan rose to $57.46 million in the fiscal year 2018-19 from $12.77 million in the FY2008-09.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh