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On Trade, Transit and TIFA February 6, 2009

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The new government become suddenly busy in signing bilateral trade, on the issue on transit and TIFA.

The haste draws criticism from opponents and citizens. The Commerce Minister tries to assure the public that Government will not do anything which goes against the interest of the country. He also assures that every major treaty will be disclosed and discussed in the parliament. He asserted that as this government came to the power with the mandate of the people, it will try to respect it.

The State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Hasan told ‘Transit is an economic issue’ . But many consider it has political implication also.

Regarding TIFA, USA is eager to sign the bilateral agreement with different countries including Bangladesh. USA tried to pass the treaty during the last political regime but due to disagreement on some of the clauses, it was not ultimately approved.

In the meantime, Council of Ministers approved 2 trade agreements with India. It is said that one of the agreements was first sign in 1980 during Ziaur Rahman regime. It was extended by the past governments and it is now resigned only. In this treaty, the signing countries is allowed to use the roads, water ways and railways for transportation of goods between two places in one country through the territory of the other. The second agreement is a new one by the name ‘Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) to boost trade and investment with India.[DS].

We hope that every treaty should be disclosed to the public,be well debated in the media and in parliament and only be accepted if it appears good for the country in short and long term basis.

An ordinary citizen

Full text of the Trade Agreement with India
Trade and Investment Framework Agreements of USA


1. rk - February 7, 2009

Ordinary citizen:

I would be interested to hear more of your analysis of these issues. I am perhaps naive about these treaties, but it seems obvious to me that increasing trade or transit with other countries can only be positives for Bangladesh. I hope that Bangladesh approves the treaties, and continues opening up to more trade and international investment. What is your take on these issues? Is there something I’m missing?

2. bdoza - February 7, 2009

Thanks for your comment.
Bangladesh should be more open to trade and treaties. But she should sign these treaties only after open and thorough discussion and ensuring the interest of Bangladesh as a country.

Regarding transit, multilateral agreement rather than bilateral should be thought of as some experts suggest.

3. secretdhaka - February 8, 2009

Is Bangladesh always a she?


4. bdoza - February 9, 2009

I think, the economic condition, political state and geographical location make Bangladesh delicate. But time has come now for Bangladesh to be bold enough to fight for its own cause.

5. Shohana - February 16, 2009

As we live in a democratic country, we have the right to know about each and every decision taken by the government. ” Democratic republic of Bangladesh”…for the people and by the people as well. But they don’t disclose everything to us…sarcastic and absurd as well.

6. Roshan - February 24, 2009

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