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FTA with Malaysia on cards
08
May '10
Malaysia offers duty-free access into its markets to Bangladesh goods only if Bangladesh commences negotiations on a two-way free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia, said industry sources.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, has assured that the duty-free facility will only be implemented once the Bangladesh government, which had recently pushed for duty-free facilities on its goods, initiates negotiations on FTA between the two countries.

According to industrial sources, “Malaysian government has verbally assured us that, 19 products are likely to receive duty-free access into the Malaysian markets, under the early harvest program, but only after negotiations on FTA begin.”

Last week, the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, read a directive to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka, saying that, the Malaysian officials are hoping for an early assessment of their proposal put forth before the Bangladeshi government in order to commence with the negotiations on FTA as soon as possible.

As per industrial sources, about two-months back Dhaka started working towards duty-free entry into Malaysian markets for 19 of its goods. The key products that Bangladesh government intends on exporting to Malaysia include, ceramic, jute products, knitted apparels, woven clothing, leather goods and the like.

During 2008-09, Bangladesh exported goods to Malaysia amounting to $31.28 million as against its imports from Malaysia that amounted to $694 million, during the same period.

Currently, Malaysia has two-way FTAs with Sri Lanka and Pakistan amongst other South Asian countries.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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