Trade contract with Nepal soon: minister

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The federal government will sign a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Nepal within a short time so that you can improve bilateral trade, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi yesterday.

"Debate is underway with more countries regarding the signing of trade agreements. This will be good for us in the long-term although it might not appear beneficial for the time being," he said.

Munishi shared the details at the inauguration of the campus of Bangladesh Institute of Plastic material Engineering and Technology in Dhaka's Keraniganj, relating to a press release.

The event was jointly organised by the institute and Bangladesh Plastic Merchandise Companies and Exporters Association. The production came more than a month after Bangladesh inked a PTA with Bhutan to safeguard the trade benefit after graduation from the least developed country position in 2024.

The commerce ministry is negotiating with 11 other countries and trade blocs like Australia, Japan and Canada for PTA with desire to to secure industry access after Bangladesh's LDC graduation.

Dhaka demanded zero-duty access for 140 items to Kathmandu in October last year.

Munshi stressed the necessity for improvement of productivity and quality of products to compete found in the global market.

He said plastic sector has huge probable and demand for plastic goods is increasing day by day.

"We have to tap this opportunity. There is a large market for plastic goods. We need to gain increased industry share by giving quality and bettering design and performance," he said.

The government offers support for the advancement of plastic goods developing industry.

Munshi said Bangladesh once imported plastic material goods to meet requirement of export oriented garments industries.

Now plastic material goods are exported following meeting native demand, he said.