Australia has officially assured continuation of duty free and quota free treatment to Bangladesh exports even after graduation out of Least Delegation Country (LDC) in 2026.
The commitment came at the meeting of the first Joint Working Group (JWG) on trade and investment held on February 22 at Canberra, a foreign ministry press release said, reports BSS.
Formed under the Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) between Australia and Bangladesh, the JWG at its first meeting had productive discussions on general trade issues, trade in goods and services, trade facilitation, promotion of investment, energy and defence collaboration among others.
Australia agreed to initiate a study on prospects of greater trade and investment flow for adding dynamism in economic ties.
The JWG agreed to involve relevant private sectors and encouraged institutional linkages between Apex trade bodies of the two countries to further strengthen bilateral trade.
The two countries agreed to enhance industry connections between Australian exporters of raw materials like cotton, wool, hides and importers and manufacturers in Bangladesh.
They decided to explore options to engage with global value chains as well as third country markets and ‘buy back’ finished goods made from Australian inputs.
They would arrange consultations on LNG sales to Bangladesh including on innovative options around Bangladesh’s preferred govt-to-govt arrangement.
Australian investors were encouraged to invest in Bangladesh in particular in the infrastructure sectors.
Australia side expressed keenness to explore investment opportunities in infrastructure, energy, mining and ICT sector.
Australia also agreed to support Bangladesh in capacity building and human resource development through cooperation on technical and vocation education.
Canberra expressed willingness to provide training on the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme to help Bangladeshi producers and exporters meet regulatory standards of the Australian market.
The Australian Trade Minister sent a video message for the JWG meeting, where he said “Australia and Bangladesh are moving to a new level of partnership-one based on shared interests, values, people-to-people links and increasingly marked by the dynamism of the commercial ties”
Senior Secretary for Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh and First Assistant Secretary Gary Cowan of North and South Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) led the talks from Bangladesh and Australia side respectively.
Bangladesh High Commissioner Mohammad Sufiur Rahman and Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Jeremy Breuer also participated in the meeting. More than 40 delegates from both sides representing relevant Ministries and departments attended the first JWG discussion.
The next JWG meeting will be held in Bangladesh early next year.