FTA decision on MERCOSUR countries in Dec: Tipu

DHAKA, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi today said the decision on signing free trade agreement (FTA) with the member countries of the South American common market, MERCOSUR, would be taken in December.

Each of the MERCOSUR countries �Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay� has agreed to sign FTA with Bangladesh and they have called meeting in December to take decision through discussion, he said at a press conference after returning from the visit of MERCOSUR at ministry conference room.

The minister said they are expecting to get positive result at the next MERCOSUR Conference.

Bangladesh has been pursuing the MERCOSUR to lower its 35 percent import duty to grab the potentiality of exporting readymade garment (RMG), pharmaceuticals, tobacco, leather and leather good, he added.

Tipu said high import duty is a barrier to expand the export to the MERCOSUR market, but businessmen of these countries are interested to continue business with Bangladesh. It is seemed to me that the governments of MERCOSUR countries are cordial and want to move away from previous position.

He said FBCCI with the cooperation of government would organize a single country fair and fashion show on November 7-8 on RMG in Sau Paulo to boost trade with MERCOSUR.

Senior Commerce Secretary Md Mofizul Islam, Additional Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and BGMEA President Dr Rubana Huq were present.

Earlier on August 18-23, a Bangladeshi delegation led by the commerce minister visited Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)