Bangladesh should go for PTA with Mercosur instead of FTA: Argentine minister

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has hoped that Argentina would support Bangladesh's initiative to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with the South American regional economic organisation Mercosur during its current presidency.

In response, Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Santiago Andres Cafiero suggested that Bangladesh pursue a preferential trade agreement (PTA) instead of FTA.

Momen also requested Santiago to consider lowering the existing 35 percent duty imposed by Argentina on readymade garments (RMG) products and withdrawing $0.16 per kg anti-dumping duty on jute bags and sacks from Bangladesh to have greater market access.

A 34-member high-level Argentine delegation, led by the Argentine minister, is paying a two-day state-level visit to Dhaka.

The non-resident Argentine ambassador to Bangladesh, undersecretary of trade and chief of cabinet to the Argentine foreign minister, are also accompanying the minister.

Momen received his Argentine counterpart this morning at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

Later, Santiago led a delegation to the Brac Foundation. The purpose was to learn from the Brac development programmes and success stories focusing on women's empowerment and rural women's financial inclusion.

Both sides agreed to collaborate to share knowledge on how to bring about financial inclusion in a responsible manner to pull millions of vulnerable women in rural and urban areas of Argentina out of poverty.

Santiago had a meeting with Momen at state guest house Jamuna this evening. Momen expressed gratitude to the Argentine government for reopening its diplomatic mission in Dhaka.

The foreign minister showed interest in wider cooperation between Bangladesh and Argentina in agriculture, agro-processing, cattle and poultry industries, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, the ICT sector, heavy and light machinery and equipment.

Santiago and Momen emphasised the importance of enhancing close collaboration to increase bilateral trade and investment.

Source: United News of Bangladesh