In order to increase trade and investment between Bangladesh and Japan, the two countries will hold a joint feasibility study as part of signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
According to a statement issued on Monday (12 December), the commerce ministry said Japan and Bangladesh can start the negotiation for an FTA/EPA on the basis of the feasibility study report after it is completed.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi declared the joint statement on the FTA feasibility study during a meeting at the ministry. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki and Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh were also present.
Bangladesh has been negotiating with several trade partners to sign FTAs, preferential trade agreements (PTAs), comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPAs) and comprehensive economic trade partnership agreements (CETAs) for retaining Bangladesh’s preferential trade benefits once it makes the United Nations status graduation from a least developed to a developing nation in 2026.
Trade benefits for being the least developed country (LDC) will come to an end with the LDC graduation in 2026, and in 2029 in the European Union (EU) as the EU offered a grace period of three years to prepare for the graduation.