10 months ago

Cabinet approves draft of regional trade agreement policy

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presiding over a regular weekly cabinet meeting at her office in Dhaka on Monday –PID Photo
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presiding over a regular weekly cabinet meeting at her office in Dhaka on Monday –PID Photo

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The cabinet has approved the draft of Bengali and English versions of the Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) Policy, 2022 aimed at protecting and expanding export markets to effectively face the challenges after graduation from LDC country status.

The approval came from a regular weekly cabinet meeting on Monday chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office in Dhaka, reports BSS.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told a news briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat that Bangladesh needs to sign trade agreements with many countries to protect and expand export markets as well as ensure duty-free access for Bangladeshi products by overcoming the challenges of the post-graduation from LDC.

"We've taken steps to go for regional trade agreements. So, the policy has been taken for it (signing RTAs)," he said.

The meeting, he said, also approved the draft of the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation Act, 2022 to make the industrial entities under the BSCIC more effective.

The proposed law will promote women entrepreneurs as the existing law, 1957 is an old one, which needs to be revised.

The cabinet also approved in principle the draft of the International Mother Language Institute (Amendment) Act, 2022 to form a language research trust under the institute.

The name of the trust will be 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Language Research Trust under which a permanent fund will be created, he said.

Anwarul added that scholarships and fellowships will be given from the permanent fund for language research and development.

The meeting endorsed the ratification proposal for an agreement to be signed between Bangladesh and Oman on the mutual visa exemption for the holders of diplomatic, official, special or service passports.

The cabinet also approved the proposal for providing the transit facilities to Nepal under the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal-Motor Vehicle Agreement (BBIN-MVA) by cancelling its earlier decision over the Operating Modalities for the Carriage of Transit Cargo between Nepal and Bangladesh.

Regarding government measures to open the Padma Bridge to traffic on June 25 next, the cabinet secretary said the bridge would be opened through a super-gorgeous ceremony.

There will be a replication of the original gala event in all the 64 districts in the country simultaneously, he added.

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