BIMSTEC at 25: Let Bangladesh lead the way for greater agri-food trade (The Daily Observer) 

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The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is the bridge between South and Southeast Asia and a unique regional cooperation initiative in the Bay of Bengal with contiguous nations, high economic growth, and a large market with access to Indian Ocean, write IFPRI’s Devesh Roy, Mamata Pradhan, and Shahidur Rashid in an op-ed published in The Daily Observer (Bangladesh).

“Bangladesh is the country in charge of trade and investment in BIMSTEC. Despite several rounds of negotiations, a free trade agreement (FTA) remains elusive, but the scaling up of agri-food trade can serve as a strong economic catalyst for this partnership. Increased agri-food trade can foster strong cooperation in other areas as well.”

The untapped potential of agri-food trade could be the most important agenda for BIMSTEC’s lead in trade and investment, conclude the authors, and Bangladesh has a crucial role to play in advancing greater trade integration.

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