Staff reporter

Bhutan-Bangladesh’s Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) that will provide duty-free market access to more products between the two countries came into effect from July 1.

The agreement provides duty-free access to the Bangladesh market for 16 Bhutanese products in addition to the existing 18 products.

Likewise, 10 more products from Bangladesh would enjoy duty-free export to Bhutan, in addition to the already 90 existing products.

Goods that get duty-free to Bangladesh include milk, natural honey, wheat or meslin flour, homogenised preparations of jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, food preparations of soyabeans, mineral water, wheat bran, quartzite, cement clinker, portland cement, soap, ferrosilicon, bars and rods of iron or non-alloy steel, wooden particle boards, and wooden furniture.

Meanwhile, goods from Bangladesh that Bhutan would give duty-free access include pineapple juice, guava juice, orange juice, green tea, waters including mineral and aerated, particle board, plywood, men or boy jackets and blazers, men or boy trousers and shorts, and baby garments and clothing.

According to the press release of the trade department under the economic affairs ministry, the PTA aims to promote and expand bilateral trade between the two countries through the implementation of appropriate measures including the reduction or elimination of barriers affecting trade.

“The department is optimistic that the bilateral trade instrument would help further expand and diversify Bhutanese exports,” the press release stated.

The department also requested the private sector to familiarise the favourable market opportunities provided by the PTA.

The Third Parliament of Bhutan during its sixth session in 2021 has ratified the PTA between Bhutan and Bangladesh.