Bangladesh seeks possible date, format from Bhutan

Signing proposed PTA


September 24, 2020 10:08:18

| Updated:

September 24, 2020 11:02:06


Bangladesh has requested Bhutan to provide details, including possible format and date, of signing the proposed preferential trade agreement (PTA) between the two countries.

The commerce ministry of Bangladesh recently sent a letter to the authorities concerned of Bhutan in the regard through diplomatic channel, officials said.

“It is now the Covid-19 pandemic period. So, we have sought details from Bhutan on the possible format for signing the proposed PTA,” said a senior official of the commerce ministry.

He said Bhutan might suggest whether it would be held through physical presence or virtually.

A deputy secretary of the ministry expected the trade deal to be signed soon as the text for it is ready. The commerce ministers of the two countries would sign the agreement.

The country’s first PTA with Bhutan was scheduled to be signed on August 30 last to boost the bilateral trade.

Both the countries have already obtained necessary approvals from their respective cabinets for signing the PTA, said official of the commerce ministry.

The high officials of the two countries reached the consensus to sign the trade deal at a daylong videoconference held on June 16, 2020.

A 10-member delegation of the commerce ministry of Bangladesh, headed by additional secretary Sharifa Khan, and a 14-member delegation of Bhutan, headed by director general of the department of trade Sonam Tenzin, took part in the conference.

The PTA text, products list and other related issues were finalized in the conference.

The meeting decided to send the agreement documents to the law ministry and the cabinet division for vetting and approval respectively.

The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries is gradually increasing.

The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries stood at US$57.90 million in the fiscal year 2018-19. It was only US$26.52 million in the FY 2012-13.

Apparel, food, plastics, pharmaceuticals, furniture and electrical products are being exported from Bangladesh.

Generally, Bangladesh imports chemicals, pulps, bolder stones, fruits, vegetables, etc.

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