Bangladesh and Bhutan agree to remove bilateral trade barriers

Bangladesh and Bhutan agree to remove bilateral trade barriers

Bangladesh and Bhutan have agreed to strengthen bilateral trade by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers and enhancing cooperation in various sectors including investment, transit, communication, power, energy, and tourism.

The decisions were made during the 9th commerce secretary-level meeting held on 24 and 25 April at the Bhutanese capital Thimpu. The Bangladesh delegation was led by Commerce Ministry Senior Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh while the Bhutanese delegation was led by Bhutan’s Industry, Trade and Employment Secretary Tashi Wangmo.

Both Bangladesh and Bhutan expressed satisfaction over existing relations. They discussed measures to boost trade, including trading additional products under the existing Bangladesh-Bhutan PTA and Bhutan’s possible re-entry into the BBIN MVA framework. The meeting also addressed the expansion of the Preferential Trade Agreement and agreed to conduct trial runs on exports and imports under the Traffic in Transit Agreement. Both sides also agreed to sign a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement to enhance cooperation between customs authorities.

Bhutan praised Bangladesh’s socio-economic development under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership in the last 15 years. Meetings with Bhutanese ministers focused on enhancing mutual trade, regional connectivity, and cooperation in tourism and energy sectors. The Bhutanese Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade DN Dhungyel said that the issue of re-inclusion of Bhutan as a full member in BBIN-MV is under consideration while related activities are ongoing.

Source: The Business Standard

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