International Treaty and Trade Agreements

Wpfreeware 6:49 AM Investment Protections / International Agreements

Bangladesh, a developing country in South Asia, actively participates in various international treaties and trade agreements to enhance its economic growth and foster global cooperation. Here’s an overview of some key treaties and trade agreements involving Bangladesh:

International Treaties

  1. United Nations Conventions:

    • UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS): Bangladesh is a signatory, which helps resolve maritime disputes and establishes guidelines for maritime conduct.
    • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): Bangladesh is a party, playing a significant role in global climate change negotiations given its vulnerability to climate impacts.
    • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): Bangladesh ratified this treaty to promote sustainable development and protect biodiversity.
  2. World Trade Organization (WTO):

    • Bangladesh is a founding member of the WTO, which provides a framework for negotiating trade agreements and settling disputes among members.
  3. International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions:

    • Bangladesh has ratified several ILO conventions concerning labor rights, including conventions on child labor, forced labor, and occupational safety.

Regional Trade Agreements

  1. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC):

    • Bangladesh is a founding member of SAARC, which aims to promote economic and regional integration. The SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA) and the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) are key initiatives under SAARC.
  2. Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC):

    • This regional organization involves South and Southeast Asian countries, including Bangladesh. BIMSTEC focuses on multi-sectoral cooperation, including trade, investment, and technology.

Bilateral Trade Agreements

  1. Bangladesh-India Trade Agreement:

    • This agreement facilitates trade between the two neighboring countries, including provisions for transit, border trade, and removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers.
  2. Bangladesh-China Free Trade Agreement (under negotiation):

    • Bangladesh and China are negotiating a free trade agreement to enhance bilateral trade by reducing tariffs and improving market access.
  3. Bangladesh-USA Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA):

    • This agreement aims to enhance trade and investment cooperation between Bangladesh and the United States through dialogue and mutual understanding.

Multilateral Trade Agreements

  1. Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA):

    • Formerly known as the Bangkok Agreement, APTA includes Bangladesh and aims to promote economic integration through the exchange of tariff concessions among member countries.
  2. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP):

    • Bangladesh benefits from the GSP provided by various countries, including the European Union and the United States, which allows duty-free or reduced-duty access for certain products.

Economic and Technical Cooperation

  1. Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF):

    • Bangladesh is a part of this global partnership aimed at assisting least developed countries (LDCs) to integrate better into the global trading system and to address supply-side constraints.
  2. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI):

    • Bangladesh participates in China's BRI, which seeks to enhance connectivity and cooperation among Eurasian countries, improving infrastructure and trade links.

Through these treaties and agreements, Bangladesh seeks to strengthen its economic position, improve its trade relations, and ensure sustainable development in the global arena.

Legal Protection:

The policy framework for foreign investment in Bangladesh is based on 'The Foreign Private Investment (Promotion & Protection ) Act. 1980,' which ensures legal protection to foreign investment in Bangladesh against nationalisation and expropriation. It also guarantees non-discriminatory treatment between foreign and local investment, and repatriation of proceeds from sales of shares and profit.

International Agreements:

Bangladesh has concluded bilateral agreements for avoidance of double taxation and investment treaties for promotion and protection of investment with the following countries:

Bilateral agreements:

Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, The Netherlands, United Kingdom ( including Northern Ireland ). Negotiations are ongoing with U.S.A, Iran, Philippines, Qatar, Australia, Nepal, Turkey, Indonesia, Cyprus, Norway, Finland and Spain.

Investment treaty:

Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, Indonesia. Negotiations are ongoing with India, Hungary, Oman, Maldova, DPRK, Egypt, Austria, Mauritius, Uzbekistan.

In addition, Bangladesh is a signatory to MIGA ( Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency), OPIC ( Overseas Private Investment Corporation ) of USA, ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) and a member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) permanent committee on development co-operation related to industrial property.

Investment of NRBs will be treated on par with FDI. Special incentives are provided to encourage NRBs to invest in the country. NRBs will enjoy facilities similar to those of foreign investors. Moreover, they can buy newly issued shares/debentures of Bangladeshi companies . A quota of 10% has been fixed for NRBs in primary public shares. Furthermore, they can maintain foreign currency deposits in the Non-resident Foreign Currency Deposit (NFCD) account.


Bangladesh 'Taka' is convertible for current external transactions. Individuals/firms resident in Bangladesh may conduct all current external transactions, including trade and investment related transaction, through banks in Bangladesh authorised to deal in foreign exchange ( Authorised Dealers ) without prior approval of the Bangladesh Bank. Non- resident direct investment in industrial enterprise in Bangladesh and non-resident portfolio investment through stock exchanges in Bangladesh also do not require prior approval of the Bangladesh Bank. Remittance of post-tax dividend/profit on non resident direct or portfolio investment do not require prior approval. Sale proceeds, including capital gains on non-resident portfolio investment may also be remitted abroad without prior approval. Repatriation of sale proceeds of non-resident investment in unlisted companies is allowed by Bangladesh Bank on the basis of the net asset value of the shares of the company. Investors may obtain relevant procedural details by contacting any Authorised Dealer bank in Bangladesh .

To facilitate investment, prior approval of the Bangladesh Bank is no longer required for :
  1. remittance of profits to their head offices by foreign firms and companies operating in Bangladesh
  2. issuance of shares to non-residents against investment for setting up industries in Bangladesh.
  3. remittance of dividends on such shares to the non-resident investors.
  4. portfolio investment by non-residents including foreign individuals/enterprises in shares and securities through stock exchanges in Bangladesh .
  5. remittance of dividends on portfolio investment by non-residents through stock exchanges in Bangladesh .
  6. remittance of sale proceeds, including capital gains of portfolio investments of non-residents through stock exchanges in Bangladesh
  7. remittance of principal and interest instalments on loans/suppliers credits obtained by industrial units from foreign lenders with approval of the BOI. 100% foreign owned ( Type A) industrial units in the EPZs (Export Processing Zone) do not require prior permission of BOI for such foreign borrowing.
  8. remittance in repayment of principal and payment of interest of such loans.
  9. remittance of technical fees and royalties against technical assistance/royalty agreements in conformity with BOI guidelines.
  10. remittance of savings of expatriate personnel at the time of their leaving Bangladesh, out of the salaries and benefits stated in their employment contracts as approved by BOI.
  11. extension of term loans by banks on normal banking considerations to foreign firms operating in Bangladesh, subject to compliance of the instruction of GFET-2009, Vol-1, chapter-16, para 4(B).
  12. extension of working capital loans to all foreign owned/controlled industrial and trading firms/companies by banks on the basis of bank customer relationship and normal banking practice.
  13. obtaining of interest-free repatriable short-term foreign currency loans by foreign firms investing in Bangladesh from their head offices or any other sources through any authorised dealer.
Click the link for more related information:
  1. Opportunities for Investment in Bangladesh - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  2. Investment Facility by Bangladesh Bank
  3. Treaties-Bida
  4. Trade Agreement by Bangladesh Trade Portal

Related Post