Asif Showkat, NewAge, February 20, 2009. Dhaka, Bangladesh
The government has initiated a move to sign a bilateral trade agreement with Finland, mainly to attract more direct investment from the Scandinavian country, official sources said on Thursday.
‘As part of the move, the government has taken an initiative to sign the “Bangladesh Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement” with Finland, industry secretary Dewan Zakir Hossain told New Age.
He said the government was also working to pursue more countries to sign BIPA to expedite the FDI.
‘Two more countries, including Oman, want to sign the BIPA with Bangladesh for protection of its investment,’ the secretary added.
Under the agreement the two governments will protect the interests of investors and entrepreneurs.
Recently, Bangladesh and India signed a new BIPA, to bolster trade and investment between the two neighbouring countries by removing some of the barriers. Bangladesh has already signed the BIPA with 26 countries.
According to Bangladesh Bank data, Bangladesh now maintains a favourable trade balance with Finland. Bangladesh exports garments, vegetable and jute products to Finland and imports machinery.
Bangladesh exported Tk 144.28 crore worth of goods to Finland in 2006-07 fiscal year while it imported only Tk 3.72 crore worth of goods from Finland.
In FY06, Bangladesh exported goods worth of Tk 130.11 crore while import from Finland was worth Tk 1.65 crore. In 2007, the entrepreneurs from Finland invested 35 lakh dollars in Bangladesh..