Free Trade Agreement
Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md Hashim has said she is optimistic that Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur would soon sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to boost bilateral trade. While delivering her keynote speech at Cosmos Foundation’s virtual dialogue titled “Bangladesh-Malaysia Relations: Prognosis for the Future”, she also said trade and investment may determine the future course of relations between the two nations. Apart from FTA, the high commissioner said the potential areas of future collaboration are “definitely in the areas of digital economy”. “What is even more important for both countries [is] to enhance the bilateral relations on areas such as trade and investment, which may determine the direction of the relations in the next decade or so. In this regard, again, it is my hope that a FTA will be concluded between Malaysia and Bangladesh,” she said. Cosmos Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Cosmos Group, hosted the dialogue that premiered on Thursday evening. The opening remarks were delivered by Cosmos Foundation Executive Director Nahar Khan.
Bangladesh has shown interest in signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with Mercosur, an economic and political bloc of the big economies of South America consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Highlighting Bangladesh’s strength as the second largest RMG producer and world-class pharmaceutical manufacturer, Bangladesh Ambassador to Brazil Sadia Faizunnesa has sought Brazil President Jair Messias Bolsonaro’s support to negotiate the FTA with Mercosur. The Brazilian President instructed Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca to start working towards strengthening bilateral cooperation, including trade and agriculture, according to the Bangladesh Embassy in Brazil. Also read: Australia eyes new opportunities in Bangladesh's digital sector
Applauding the initiative for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Singapore, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said FTA would be mutually beneficial by further enhancing the bilateral trade and investment. "Singapore is an important bilateral trade and investment partner of Bangladesh," he said during a telephone conversation with his Singapore counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. The two Foreign Ministers agreed to accelerate the process for concluding the FTA early. Dr Momen encouraged more Singaporean investors to invest in power, telecommunication, renewable energy and power transmission sectors in Bangladesh taking advantage of a very friendly investment regime in the country. Also read:Rohingya Crisis: Dhaka voices concerns over security implications in entire region While thanking the Government of Singapore for providing humanitarian assistance to the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals sheltered in Bangladesh, Dr. Momen sought Singapore’s and ASEAN’s proactive role in bringing a sustainable and permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis by ensuring their urgent return to their homeland in Myanmar. Dr Vivian assured that Singapore would remain engaged on the issue and of Singapore’s continued support for a durable solution to the crisis. During the conversation, Dr Momen expressed satisfaction over the excellent bilateral relations existing between the two friendly countries, mentioning that Bangladesh considers Singapore as a role model of Economic Development. The two Foreign Ministers agreed on the necessity of exploring synergies in new areas of cooperation for expanded bilateral engagement. Dr Momen noted with satisfaction Singapore government’s continuous support to the Bangladeshi expatriate workers during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. He suggested that Singapore may consider employing more skilled workers from Bangladesh especially in their health and other service sectors. Also read: Bangladesh needs 34,000 MW of electricity by 2030 to sustain its growth: ICCB Praising Dr Balakrishnan’s previous role as Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Dr Momen shared the rapid digital transformation of the economy and society in Bangladesh under the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for a ‘Digital Bangladesh’. Dr Momen sought Singaporean cooperation in the area of ICT and digitization, to which Dr. Balakrishnan responded very positively and assured of full support and assistance. Referring to the 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 2022, both the Ministers agreed to celebrate the special occasion in a befitting manner in both the countries. Dr Momen invited his Singaporean counterpart to visit Bangladesh. Dr Balakrishnan also extended an invitation to Dr Momen for an official visit to Singapore to kick-start the celebration of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged greetings of the New Year and discussed the pandemic situation in their respective countries.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) President Md. Jashim Uddin has laid emphasis on doing more market research and evaluation on export diversification to deal with the Malaysian market. He made the suggestion when Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BMCCI) President Raquib Mohammad Fakhrul along with the Board of Directors met him at his office. The BMCCI President submitted some important points in a memorandum to the FBCCI President for consideration. Also read: Bangladesh to gain new commercial facilities post-LDC graduation: FBCCI He proposed to undertake an initiative to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia by ensuring Bangladesh’s interest which has been a long pending issue. He also talked about promoting relocation of Malaysian sun-set Industries to Bangladesh, to make close connectivity between Chattogram and Penang Port; to organize events on Trade & Investment opportunity in Bangladesh on a regular basis. The FBCCI President assured of providing all possible support for development of trade and investment opportunities between Bangladesh and Malaysia. He thanked the BMCCI leaders for their appreciable role in promoting bi-lateral relationships between the two countries. Also read: Bengal Group’s Jashim Uddin elected FBCCI president He proposed to sitting again together with FBCCI, BMCCI and other concern stakeholders with all required data to discuss more and precisely on proposed FTA between Bangladesh and Malaysia. FBCCI Vice President Md. Habib Ullah Dawn, Director Syed Moazzem Hossain and Director Syed Almas Kabir took part enthusiastically.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said there is enormous scope for private sectors of Bangladesh and Japan to engage in trade and investment for mutual benefit.
Britain’s long and sometimes acrimonious divorce from the European Union ended Thursday with an economic split that leaves the EU smaller and the U.K. freer but more isolated in a turbulent world.
As Bangladesh looks forward to graduating out of the least developed country (LDC) status in 2024, it's increasingly emphasising bilateral preferential trade agreement (PTA) and free trade agreement (FTA) to boost its export earnings in the next three to six years.