Bangladesh is going to sign a trade agreement with the Czech Republic mainly to enjoy duty benefits on exports of goods to countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
With the signing, Bangladesh will enter a customs union of all the CIS countries, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi at a press conference at his secretariat office in Dhaka yesterday.
A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff.
As a result, Bangladesh will enjoy the facility of paying lesser duties in some major countries, especially on garment item shipments, Munshi said.
If the trade deal is implemented, the Czech Republic, the central European country, can be used as a hub for exporting goods to other countries under the customs union.
Munshi also said he highlighted at the World Trade Organization's headquarters in Geneva this week the different government steps that would come into effect once Bangladesh graduates to a developing country from the league of least developed ones.
Bangladesh is working to diversify both its export basket and destinations in attempts to promote sustainable business after the graduation by 2024, the final implementation of which would come by 2027.
While speaking on Bangladesh's Trade Policy Review in Geneva, Munshi discussed the progress of the government measures taken on some important avenues between 2012 and 2018.
The issues involved the government's monetary policy and industrial policies alongside those on trade, investment climate and protection of intellectual property rights.
He also discussed progresses in sectors like agriculture, fishery, energy, industries and services.