The Financial Express

Bangladesh-Australia TIFA working group meet on February 22

| Updated: January 22, 2022 18:39:48

Bangladesh-Australia TIFA working group meet on February 22

The maiden meeting of the joint working group (JWG) on trade and investment under the Bangladesh-Australia Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) is likely to be held on February 22.

The meeting in Canberra aims to expand trade, commerce and investment between the two countries, according to officials in Dhaka.

The Australian high commission in Dhaka recently sent a whole raft of draft agenda to commerce ministry for its views and comments.

The agenda include air transportation, agriculture, energy, investment and taxation arrangements, defence procurement, upcoming trade and promotion plans, and development of regional cooperation.

If the Covid-19 situation does not return to normal, according to the ministry, the meeting will be held in the virtual format in the same month.

Both sides are expected to discuss a wide range of issues to enhance trade and economic ties between the two countries.

"Bangladesh is keenly interested in expanding trade and commerce with the developed nation," says the ministry.

In September 2021, Dhaka and Canberra inked the TIFA to open up newer opportunities for trade and investment.

The Bangladesh-Australia bilateral trade stands at an estimated $2.0 billion. But Australian investment in Bangladesh is very poor among its South Asian peers, discloses a document.

Until June 2020, Australian investment in Bangladesh stood at $845 million which mainly went to gas and petroleum sectors.

Bangladesh is an emerging Asian economy and set to graduate from the status of a least-developed country to be developing officially in 2026.

It aims to become a developed nation by 2041.

Bangladesh exported goods worth $678 million to Australia in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and $805 million in FY 2019.

On the other hand, it imported goods from Australia worth $649 million in FY 2020, up from $597 million in FY 2019.

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