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Introduction and deliberation of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Royal Government of Bhutan

Posted on :02 December 2021

His Excellency Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Minister for Economic Affairs introduced the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Royal Government of Bhutan, followed by a deliberation on the agreement. Expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to present the agreement to the august House, the Hon’ble Minister briefly highlighted the background and the main objective of the agreement. He said that the PTA was signed virtually by the Hon’ble Minister himself and Commerce Minister of Bangladesh on December 6, 2020 in the presence of the Hon’ble Prime Ministers of the two countries. He said that the two countries started trading in the 1980’s, since then trade has been expanding on a good-will basis. He said that Bangladesh is the second largest trading partner of Bhutan, further stating that the agreement aims to expand, promote and diversify bilateral trade and eliminate barriers to trade. It will also enable the two Governments to negotiate and formalize measures for better conduct of trade. Further reporting that the National Assembly has ratified the agreement in the last session and recommended the PTA to be ratified by the House to enable the implementation of the Agreement at the earliest. Expressing their concerns, the Hon’ble members clarified issues with regard to the agreement. Amongst others, the members sought clarification on the measures to resolve inflation in the country, exploring diversification of transportation route, identification of location of route for export and import, river ways and boat services, and on the political and economic risk analysis conducted by the Ministry. Following the introduction of the agreement, the Economic Affairs Committee incharge of the agreement reported on the review work conducted and findings of the Committee in reviewing the agreement. Following which the agreement was submitted for approval of the House with minor amendments made on some of the provisions. The House approved all the 22 articles of the agreement and asked the committee to prepare the agreement for adoption by revising article 19.

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