News List

Compiled features on recent developments in regional cooperation and integration in the SASEC region.

October 2020

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Expresses Hope for Bangladesh-Bhutan Road Connectivity

Establishment of road connectivity between Bangladesh and Bhutan would give a boost to bilateral trade between the two countries, emphasized Mr. AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of the Government of Bangladesh, in his meeting with Mr. Rinchen Kuentsyl, Bhutan Ambassador to Bangladesh.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Free Trade Agreement

August 2019

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Plan Another Joint Economic Commission Meeting

The upcoming meeting will discuss the proposed Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Bilateral Free Trade Agreement. It will also discuss the implementation plan for the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Standards between the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution and the Sri Lanka Standards Institute.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Free Trade Agreement

August 2018

BIMSTEC Heads of Missions Urge BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement Conclusion

A preparation meeting for the fourth BIMSTEC summit discussed how BIMSTEC can catalyze regional economic development in the next twenty years. BIMSTEC heads of missions emphasized the need to conclude negotiations for the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement, and finalize trade facilitation measures in the BIMSTEC region.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Free Trade Agreement, Trade Facilitation

August 2017

BIMSTEC Seeks Stronger Ties and Cooperation

The 18th session of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Senior Officials' Meeting and the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting stressed the importance of cooperation in energy, technology, trade, and transport, through a revitalized, more integrated, and stronger BIMSTEC process. The Joint Statement underscored the need to finalize the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Agreement.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Nepal, Bangladesh, Regional Cooperation, Energy, Technology, Trade, Transport, Free Trade Agreement

July 2017

New Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan Comes into Force

The new Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan has come into force beginning 29 July 2017. It provides for a free trade regime between the territories of India and Bhutan, and allows duty free transit of Bhutanese goods for trade with third countries.

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Tags: India, Bhutan, Trade, Free Trade Agreement, Transit Facilitation, Transport

July 2017

Commentary: Bangladesh – A Market for Sri Lankan Investors

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are working to increase their trade volume and diversify their products to promote more mutually-beneficial trade. This commentary by Mr. Amila Muthukutti, Sri Lankan economist and business writer, discusses market opportunities in Bangladesh for Sri Lankan investors, and highlights how a Free Trade Agreement will pave the way for strong trade relations.

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Free Trade Agreement, Bilateral Trade

February 2017

NACEN Holds Capacity Building Program for Bangladesh Customs Officers

The National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) in Faridabad, India organized a capacity building program for Bangladesh Customs. Topics included modern clearance processes, Customs valuation, post-clearance audit, use of risk management systems, and the role of Customs in economic corridors.

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Tags: Customs, India, Free Trade Agreement, Economic corridor

January 2017

Nepal Customs Officers Undergo Training at NACEN

The National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) held a capacity-building program for 35 Customs Officers from Nepal. The 5-day program discussed various Customs-related topics, including Customs valuation; World Trade Organization provisions; Customs reform; and use of risk management.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Trade Facilitation, Customs, Free Trade Agreement, Risk Management, WTO

January 2017

Sri Lanka Seeks to Attract Foreign Investment, Boost Exports

The Government of Sri Lanka aims to attract $50 billion in foreign investment in the next 5-10 years to help develop infrastructure, and boost exports to $20 billion by 2020. This year, Sri Lanka expects to sign free-trade deals with India, Singapore, and China.

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Tags: Sri Lanka, Exports, India, China, Free Trade Agreement, BIMSTEC, Tourism

January 2017

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Discuss Bilateral Free Trade Deal

The new Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr. Riaz Hamidullah called on Sri Lanka Finance Minister, Mr. Ravi Karunanayake to discuss a potential Bangladesh-Sri Lanka free trade agreement. The Meeting emphasized benefits to be gained by both countries from this type of agreement.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Trade, Free Trade Agreement

November 2016

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka to Sign a Free Trade Agreement

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have agreed to sign a free trade agreement to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries. This decision came out of of the Fifth Joint Economic Cooperation Session between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and reflects an eagerness of both countries to improve trade volumes.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Trade, Free Trade Agreement, Exports, Imports

October 2016

Bangladesh and Nepal Prime Ministers Keen on Hastening South Asian Integration

Bangladesh and Nepal officials have emphasized the need to both hasten and deepen integration among South Asian countries through the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the region must work to finalize BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Framework Agreement deals to boost trade in the region. Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal stated that BIMSTEC can be a dynamic engine for growth and development.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Nepal, BIMSTEC, Regional Cooperation, Free Trade Agreement

September 2016

Bangladesh to Sign FTA, Coastal Shipping Deal with Sri Lanka

Bangladesh is set to sign a free trade agreement and a coastal shipping deal with Sri Lanka to boost trade and investments between the two countries. A Joint Study Group will be formed to accelerate development of the coastal shipping agreement, for which standard operating procedures are being drafted.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Trade, Free Trade Agreement

July 2016

BIMSTEC Negotiating FTA, Other Proposals to Enhance Trade

The BIMSTEC free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation by the inter-regional organization could benefit the region's trade by helping operationalize production links among member countries and eliminating non-tariff measures within a mutually agreed timeframe. BIMSTEC members are also considering a single visa proposal and extension of the BBIN transport agreement to Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Free Trade Agreement, Transport, Sri Lanka

June 2016

India, Thailand to Increase Trade through Trade Agreement

India and Thailand have agreed to speed up talks on the India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement and bilateral investment treaty. The two countries also agreed to fast-track infrastructure projects linking each other, such as the Asian Trilateral Highway connecting India and Thailand through Myanmar.

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Tags: India, Thailand, Myanmar, Free Trade Agreement, Trade

March 2016

Thailand Proposes FTA with Sri Lanka

Thailand is proposing a Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka, according to Thailand Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak. The two countries have signed 3 memorandums of understanding and letters of intent to triple their bilateral trade by 2020, bringing it from $500 million to $1.5 million in 5 years.

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Tags: Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bilateral Trade, Free Trade Agreement

June 2012

SAARC Working Group on Reduction in the Sensitive Lists under SAFTA Phase III

The SAARC Working Group noted that under Phase II all member states had already reduced their respective Sensitive Lists by a minimum of 20%. Bhutan India and Maldives had made substantial reductions in their lists which in fact were significantly more than the previously mandated reduction level.

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Tags: Bhutan, Free Trade Agreement, India, Maldives, SAARC, SAFTA, South Asia, Trade