Bilateral Bangladesh-Nepal PTA in final phase

The PTA will be signed after obtaining the final green light from the Nepalese side

A preferential trade agreement (PTA) between Bangladesh and Nepal is in the final stages, Trade Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said.

He said he was the main guest of the business networking meeting between Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and visiting business delegation from Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Nepal , held at the DCCI in the city on Tuesday, a press release said.

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman chaired the meeting. At the same time, a cooperation protocol (MoC) between the DCCI and the CNI was also signed during the meeting.

Rahman and CNI President Vishnu Kumar Agarwal signed the document on behalf of their respective organizations.

Ghosh expressed hope that the PTA will be signed soon after getting the final green light from the Nepalese side.

Bangladesh is a very large market with a huge consumer base, especially in the FMCG sector, and Bangladesh has to import a large amount of consumer items like edible oil, lentils, sugar, etc., he added.

He urged Nepalese businessmen to take advantage of this opportunity.

He also said that the cooperation protocol signed between the DCCI and the CNI is an important step for two-way trade and commerce.

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said in his opening remarks that the two countries are working on common interests in various international forums, including SAARC, BIMSTEC and WTO, which strengthen our diplomatic and economic friendship.

Bilateral trade stands at around $ 73.47 million for fiscal year 2020-21, with a positive trade balance for Bangladesh, he added.

RMG, Pharmaceuticals, Food Processing, Jute Articles, ITES, Light Engineering, Electronics have great investment and trade potential as Nepal is one of the preferred investment destinations from Bangladesh, he said.

“Nepal can invest in our agribusiness tourism, financial sectors and SEZs,” he added.

The head of the Nepalese delegation and chairman of the CNI, Vishnu Kumar Agarwal, said that the sectors of agriculture, tourism, energy, education and information technology are some of the sectors potential where entrepreneurs from both countries can benefit.

He said Nepal is now prioritizing its transformation from a trade-based economy to one based on manufacturing.

Thus, this move will create a huge opportunity for huge investments. In addition, the exchange of delegations will promote bilateral trade, he said.

CNI Vice President Nirvana Chaudhary said that they have already invested in Bangladesh in the FMCG industry and have a plan to invest in the beverage and hospitality sector in the future.

Later, Senior Vice-President NKA Mobin, Vice-President of DCCI Monowar Hossain and members of the Board of Directors of DCCI and CNI were also present.