Bangladesh and Thailand are working towards boosting bilateral ties and the trade between the two countries is expected to touch $2 bn by 2021. Bangladesh has also requested a Thai delegation led by Kobsak Pootrakool, investment and economic reforms affairs minister, to consider a free trade agreement (FTA) to encourage bilateral trade.

A meeting was held between the Thai delegation and Bangladesh representatives led by Tofail Ahmed, Commerce Minister of Bangladesh. Ahmed made the request to sign an FTA as Thailand already offers duty-free access to many Bangladeshi products. He has also asked the delegation to provide duty-free access to some other items including garments, leather goods and jute products.

The Commerce Minister also invited Thai entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh, according to report. The country is willing to provide a special economic zone as well as business facilities to foreign investors, added Ahmed. Bangladesh-Thailand trade currently amounts to $800 mn, with the latter’s export amount standing at $781 mn.

Ahmed also said that Bangladesh is now concentrating on signing FTAs as it is slated to graduate out of the least developed countries (LDCs). The country will sign FTAs with Cambodia and Sri Lanka by the end of this year and is also considering similar agreements with some other nations.