DHAKA: The Bangladesh cabinet yesterday ratified the preferential trade agreement (PTA) signed among eight Muslim countries of the D-8 alliance, including Bangladesh. The approval was given at the regular weekly cabinet meeting held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said Bangladesh had not ratified the agreement signed in 2006 among the D-8 member-states at a ministerial level meeting held in Bali, Indonesia.
Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran and Turkey are members of the D-8 grouping whose aim is to reduce tariffs and other barriers on specific goods in order to promote inter-trade among the D-8 members. Alam said negotiation had been going on for a long time to raise the quota of Bangladesh for the inclusion of products to be exported to the member-countries under the agreement. The cabinet secretary, however, said the agreement was ratified in the cabinet meeting as the ministry of commerce said it should not remain pending any more.