The Bangladesh government is giving the highest priority to free trade agreements (FTAs) for expanding trade and exports, according to commerce minister Tipu Munshi, who recently told in a seminar. FTAs are needed to meet future challenges in the competitive global trade environment after the formal enlistment in the list of developing nations in 2024.

The seminar on ‘Fostering Global Free Trade Relations’ was organised in Dhaka by the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Bangladesh has a good scope for its readymade garment (RMG) items in Eurasia and has the potential to export goods worth $4-5 billion to Russia and its adjacent countries. The FTA with MERCOSUR countries, efforts for which are under way, would boost the country’s RMG export, he said.

Commerce secretary Jafar Uddin said the government had been working to sign FTAs with several countries, including India, China, Russia, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.