Bangladesh to ask BIMSTEC to shorten negative list

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Dhaka, Oct 7 (UNI) Bangladesh will request BIMSTEC nations to exclude around 200 products from their respective negative lists in the grouping's trade negotiation committee's meeting scheduled to be held in New Delhi from November 12-15.

A decision to this effect was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting of the Ministry of Commerce on October 4, chaired by a Joint Secretary.

It also constituted a high-profile committee to identify around 250 products to exclude from Bangladesh's existing negative list of 1040 products for members of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectorial and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

The committee would be headed by Mostafa Abid Khan of Bangladesh Tariff Commission with representation from different trade bodies and ministries concerned, Daily Star reported.

The inter-ministerial meeting also gave nod to the system of value addition ratified by the 15th meeting of the trade negotiation committee held here in the last week of September.

The Dhaka round of talks agreed that the least developed countries (LDCs) would require 30 per cent value addition to their products, while such value addition requirement would be 35 per cent for developing countries of the seven-nation bloc.

The trade negotiation committee comprising representatives of all member countries was set up to negotiate and finalise the subsidiary agreements on trade in goods, trade in services and investment towards establishment of an FTA.

The Bimstec Framework Agreement on FTA was signed on February 8, 2004 and Bangladesh acceded to Bimstec FTA on June 25 the same year.

Bimstec provides a unique link between South Asia and Southeast Asia bringing together 1.3 billion people, 21 per cent of the world population, a combined GDP of 750 billion dollars.


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