Bangladesh signs trade, investment framework with Australia
Bangladesh and Australia today signed the Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) to attract investment and remove trade barriers between the two countries through discussion.
This is the second such bilateral trade related platform for Bangladesh as the country also signed the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) with the USA in November 2013.
"We need foreign investment in Bangladesh. Australia is a very potential country for us for investment and it is an important export destination also," Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi told The Daily Star by phone after signing the agreement.
"The trade with Australia is growing every year. We are ready to approve Australian investment in any sector here."
A big investment team from Australia is scheduled to visit Bangladesh in the first part of next year, the minister also said.
Munshi also said both the sides will hold meetings soon to decide the guidelines of the TIFA on how and when they will hold dialogues under the platform.
The signing of the TIFA is not related to the duty preference but mainly to the investment issues between the two countries.
Currently, as a least developed country (LDC) Bangladesh enjoys preferential duty benefit on export to Australia.
Munshi and his counterpart Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan signed a framework on trade and investment between Bangladesh and Australia at a virtual signing ceremony.
The TIFA, the first of this kind between Australia and Bangladesh in the last five decades, is expected to provide a platform for institutionalised economic interactions and to open newer opportunities for trade and investment between the two countries.
A Joint Working Group (JWG) will be formed under TIFA, with due representations from relevant sectors and sub-sectors, according to a statement from the Bangladeshi high commission in Australia.