Govt one step closer to sign CEPA with India
The senior officials of different ministries concerned today agreed to sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India to expand trade and investment with the neighbouring country.
The inter-ministerial meeting on CEPA was attended by the officials of some important ministries, including foreign, labour, commerce, home affairs, along with different departments of agencies of the government at the commerce ministry in Dhaka.
Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior commerce secretary, chaired the meeting.
"In the inter-ministerial meeting, all the senior officials of the ministries concerned agreed that the negotiation with India for signing the CEPA can be started," Abdur Rahim Khan, additional secretary to the commerce ministry, told The Daily Star over phone.
The negotiation of the CEPA with India is a part of the government's massive initiatives to sign trade deals with major trading partners to retain the duty benefit after the country's graduation to a developing nation in 2026.
However, CEPA is not only a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), it is also a broader kind of trade deal that covers issues like investment and employment.
Recently the parliament also adopted a law on signing the FTA, PTA and CEPA with the potential and major trading partners as the country will need to retain the duty benefit after its LDC graduation.
In a visit to India in April this year, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said Bangladesh is keen to clinch the CEPA with India in a year.
Both Bangladesh and India had agreed to sign the CEPA in 2018.