We must take preparations now in order to create a business environment in which our industries can flourish
As tremendous as Bangladesh’s progress over the last decade has been, heralding in a new era of prosperity, growth, and sustainability, it is also true that we have begun to stagnate within the realm of low-value manufacturing and exports, and must diversify our economy in order to generate sustainable growth as a middle-income nation in the future.
It is encouraging to note that the government is now looking towards more competitive trade relationships with its regional partners -- it is currently in the process of negotiating the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, seeking to create an environment for bilateral free trade between Bangladesh and India.
Such re-negotiations of already established agreements with our neighbours is crucial moving forward, as our promotion to middle-income status is not merely ceremonial: It will put a stop to a lot of the preferential tariffs it has enjoyed so far.
It might yet be a few years until Bangladesh is officially recognized as a middle-income nation, but we must take preparations now in order to create a business environment in which our various industries, both old and new, can flourish.
This most recent agreement, though not yet finalized, is currently in the process of being studied and analyzed for its viability, but with a focus on mutual cooperation and investment in order to boost trade and services, it is undeniably a step in the right direction for both India and Bangladesh.
Such win-win agreements will become important stepping stones as we enter this new chapter in Bangladesh’s history and embark upon a new journey towards economic growth and prosperity.