FTA with Nepal in final stage: Tipu Munshi

Holiday Report

Signing free trade agreement is on the priority list of the government as part of finding new market or greater market access for the country’s export.
Bangladesh is close to signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with Nepal, the land loc ked country in the Himalayan region.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Monday made the disclosure saying. “We have reached consensus with Nepal on this issue.” The minister said this after a meeting with visiting Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali at his secretariat in Dhaka.
Bangladesh exported products — mainly jute goods, battery, garment, toiletries and pharmaceuticals — worth $38.05 million to Nepal in fiscal 2018-19 and imported goods worth $18.13 million.
Exports to Nepal is expected to increase manifold in near future after the signing of the FTA, Tipu Munshi said, adding that a secretary level meeting will be held on the signing of the FTA in Dhaka on March 3-4.
Some 26,255 Bangladeshis visited Nepal in 2018. Bangladesh has given transit facilities to Nepal. Both the countries now use Banglabandha land port and Nepal also has the scope to use sea port of Bangladesh, the commerce minister said.
Work is now going on to increase connectivity through road, river and air with Nepal, Munshi added.
At the meeting, Gyawali expressed interest to use Syedpur airport and, in response, the Bangladeshi minister said they will consider the demand of the landlocked country.

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