A Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Bangladesh and Nepal is in the final stage, Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said recently.
He expects the PTA to be signed after getting the final nod from the Nepalese side.
The commerce secretary made the remarks while speaking as the chief guest at a meeting between the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) and a delegation of Nepal's Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) on 14 December, reads a press statement.
A memorandum of cooperation (MoC) was signed between the two organisations during the meeting chaired by DCCI President Rizwan Rahman.
Rizwan and CNI President Vishnu Kumar Agarwal signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.
"There are various commonalities between Bangladesh and Nepal and both countries are going to be graduated from the LDC category in 2026," Commerce Secretary Tapan said on the occasion.
He also said Bangladesh is a very big market with a huge consumer base especially in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector and Bangladesh needs to import a large number of consumer items including edible oil, lentil, sugar etc.
He urged Nepali businessmen to leverage this opportunity.
Meanwhile, DCCI President said both nations work on common interests at various international forums including Saarc, Bimstec, WTO that bolster diplomatic and economic friendship between them.
The bilateral trade between the nations is around $73.47 million in FY 2020-21 having a positive trade balance for Bangladesh.
"Nepal can invest in our agro-processing, tourism, financial sectors and SEZs," said Rizwan adding, "Nepal can consider BBIN connectivity deal to exploit our economic opportunities."
Also speaking on the occasion, Charge D' Affairs of Embassy of Nepal in Bangladesh Kumar Rai said according to World Bank and IMF Bangladesh's economic progress is quite good.
"Nepal has the highest peak in the world and Bangladesh has the longest sea beach in the world. Therefore tourism can be a promising sector of mutual preferences," he said.
On the other hand, CNI President Vishnu Kumar marked agriculture, tourism, energy, education and IT sector as some of the potential sectors from where entrepreneurs of both countries can benefit.
He said Nepal is now giving priority to its transformation from a trading led economy to a manufacturing-based economy. So, this move will create an immense opportunity for huge investments.