To that end, the first preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Bhutan that was signed on December 6 must be looked at as a landmark moment, for it shows the intent of the government in forming and strengthening alliances to help the Bangladesh economy take the next step towards economic prosperity.
With this PTA, some 100 Bangladeshi items are to get duty free access to the markets in Bhutan while about 34 items from Bhutan will get access to the Bangladeshi market — with much more room to grow and explore.
Indeed, this PTA with Bhutan is fitting, considering the fact that, on December 6, 1971, Bhutan was the first country to officially recognize Bangladesh’s independence, thereby also marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
It can only be assumed that this agreement will provide a significant boost to both nations; it can be argued that Bangladesh has not fully utilized its strong relationship with Bhutan, though recent numbers do show an encouraging upward trajectory regarding the bilateral trade volume between the two countries.
With the signing of this PTA, the volume of bilateral trade should see a significant rise, and this could be the beginning of an even deeper and more meaningful partnership between the two countries.
This editorial first appeared in Dhak Tribune. Click here to go to the original.