Bangladesh-Nepal bilateral PTA at final stage

A preferential trade agreement (PTA) between Bangladesh and Nepal is at the final stage, said commerce secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh.

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

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman chaired the meeting. Meanwhile, a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) between DCCI and CNI was also signed during the meeting.

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

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

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

He urged Nepali businessmen to leverage this opportunity. 

He also termed that the memorandum of cooperation signed between DCCI and CNI is a milestone for both-way trade and commerce.

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman in his opening remarks said that both nations work on common interests at various international forums including SAARC, BIMSTEC, WTO that bolster our diplomatic and economic friendship.

The bilateral trade is around $73.47 million in FY 2020-21 having positive trade balance for Bangladesh, he added.

RMG, pharmaceuticals, agro-food processing, jute goods, ITES, light engineering, electronics have great investment and trade potentials as Nepal is one of the preferred investment destinations for Bangladesh, he said. 

"Nepal can invest in our agro-processing tourism, financial sectors and SEZs," he added.

Leader of the Nepalese delegation and President of CNI Vishnu Kumar Agarwal said agriculture, tourism, energy, education and IT sector are some of the potential sectors where entrepreneurs of both the countries can be benefitted. 

He said Nepal is now giving priorities to its transformation from trading led economy to manufacturing based economy.

So, this move will create an immense opportunity for huge investments. Moreover, exchange of delegation will foster bilateral trade, he said.

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

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

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