Trade pact with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka likely: DhakaAugust 3rd, 2008 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS
Dhaka, Aug 3 (IANS) A closer economic integration of South Asia may be on the cards. Bangladesh is likely to decide Sunday on signing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Top government officials meeting here would decide on the basis of reports and research work done on relevant data pertaining to the three countries who are keen to ink such a pact in order to expand trade relations in the region, media reports said Sunday.
The crucial meeting is due at the ministry of commerce. Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam, who performs ministerial functions in the present caretaker government of Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed, will chair the meeting.
Signing FTAs has been a vexed issue for Bangladesh, as also other South Asian nations that have had prolonged bilateral talks.
The meeting here coincides with the 15th Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) taking place in Colombo.
Trade negotiators say Dhaka may explore opportunities of higher trade though bilateral arrangement South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) is yet to ensure free flow of goods and services for the benefit of smaller economies such as Bangladesh.
Dhaka opened free trade negotiations with Colombo, Islamabad and New Delhi almost simultaneously in 2003 before the regional free trade deal, SAFTA, took shape in the Islamabad SAARC summit in 2004, New Age newspaper said Sunday.
Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI) has compiled a report on the possible risks for Bangladesh in signing such an agreement.
The government will review the opinions and research papers along with another research conducted by the World Bank, prior to taking the policy decision, ministry sources said.
- Dhaka prepares to sign free trade agreement with Delhi - Mar 07, 2010
- South Asia's leaders to accelerate trade, to jointly combat terror - Nov 11, 2011
- South Asia to gain when Pakistan frees trade with India: Chamber head - Mar 21, 2012
- India Pakistan talks an anomaly in SAARC: Secretary General - Feb 05, 2011
- India assures greater market access to SAARC countries - Feb 16, 2012
- PM leaves for SAARC summit, to push for free trade - Nov 09, 2011
- South Asia to accelerate trade, combat terror (Roundup) - Nov 12, 2011
- South Asian trade pact becoming redundant, warn experts - Jul 08, 2009
- South Asia Forum calls for regional economic union - Sep 08, 2011
- SAARC should focus on infrastructure, trade: CII - Nov 06, 2011
- India, Pakistan to soon ink customs cooperation deal - Sep 04, 2012
- India pitches for more trade, investment in SAARC - Jan 30, 2012
- India unveils duty cuts for SAARC LDCs, says let's trust each other - Nov 10, 2011
- SAFTA, an important instrument to deepen intra-regional trade: Nirupama Rao - Feb 06, 2011
- India committed to fulfilling its SAARC responsibilities: Krishna - Nov 17, 2009
Tags: bilateral arrangement, bilateral talks, caretaker government, chief advisor, free trade agreements, free trade negotiations, india pakistan, ministerial functions, ministry of commerce, ministry sources, regional free trade, saarc summit, safta, smaller economies, south asian association, south asian association for regional cooperation, south asian free trade agreement, south asian nations, trade negotiators, trade pact