Open Doors

DHAKA, Dec 19 (AFP) – Seven South and Southeast Asian nations are set to launch a goods free trade agreement from July 2006, which promises to generate additional trade worth 40 billion dollars, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Morshed Khan said on Monday. DHAKA, Dec 19 (AFP) – Seven South and Southeast Asian nations are set to launch a goods free trade agreement from July 2006, which promises to generate additional trade worth 40 billion dollars, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Morshed Khan said on Monday. “We are absolutely hopeful that the BIMSTEC FTA in goods will enter into force from July 2006,” Khan said after a foreign ministers’ meeting of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation) in Dhaka.

If the deal comes into full force, it could generate additional trade worth 40 billion-60 billion dollars among BIMSTEC members, the minister said, quoting from a study conducted by a New Delhi-based think tank.

He added that FTA negotiations on services and investments would be concluded later.

BIMSTEC was formed in 1997 in the hope of forging closer trade ties through strengthened transport and information networks in the region.

BIMSTEC includes founding members Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka