Bangladesh and Bhutan have reached a decision to sign a preferential trade agreement (PTA) by August 30 this year to boost bilateral trade.
The PTA will be signed by the commerce ministers of the two countries after vetting by the law ministry and approval from the cabinet, said a press release issued by the Ministry of Commerce.
The decision was taken at a videoconference held on Tuesday, aimed at inking the second PTA between Bangladesh and Bhutan.
In the videoconference, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce Sharifa Khan headed a 10-member delegation from Bangladesh, while a 14-member delegation from Bhutan was headed by Director of the Department of Trade under the Ministry of Economic affairs of Bhutan Mr Sonam Tenzin.
In order to implement the PTA between the two countries, both the delegations finalised the PTA text, rules of origin, product list and other formalities involved with it.
Both the parties have agreed to move forward and implement the PTA, said the press release.
If the treaty comes into effect, Bangladesh's 100 products will get duty-free access to the market of Bhutan, and 34 products of Bhutan will enjoy the same facility in Bangladesh.
Duty-free imports from Bhutan will result in a decline in prices of construction materials, which will ultimately help to develop the construction sector in the country as. Besides, the PTA will ease the import of raw material for agro-processing sector at cheap prices, the press release hoped.
Bangladesh has reached a new milestone with the conclusion of the discussions as this will be the first PTA between the two countries.