Nov 27, 2013

TICFA, Bangladesh and US Bilateralism

After a decade of negotiation between the US and Bangladesh, TIFA has recently received a new name — Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa). Only in four cases the name TIFA varied and became Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum (TICF), Trade and Investment Development Cooperation Agreement (TIDCA), Framework Agreement for Trade, Economic, Investment, Technical Cooperation (FATEITC), reports The Daily Star. Whatever the term is, these are the precursors for the US to have complete bilateral trade and investment (BTI) agreements with its strategic allies.

Those who advocate, or at least do not oppose, Ticfa vindicate it exclusively from economic point of view disregarding the political economy context of the US’s recent predilection towards BTI agreements and the power asymmetry of the two countries, both in military and economic terms.

Political economy of US preference for BTI:
The foreign economic policy of the US was tuned exclusively towards multilateralism throughout the post-war period for promoting a (neo-)liberal world order. The establishment of GATT, World Bank, IMF was testimony to this trend. Bilateralism was limited more towards formulating trade instruments like voluntary export restraints (VER), and trade remedies like Section 301 and later Super 301 rather than having bilateral or even regional trade agreements.

Nov 13, 2013

General Strikes Cost Bangladesh $8bn in 2013

General Strikes, locally known as "Hartal", costs everyday $200 million and 40 days have been staged since the beginning of 2013 that cost $8 billion in Bangladesh, reports World Bulletin.

"Every day of a general strike costs $200 million, which is bad news for the whole economy in Bangladesh," Abdus Sabur Khan, president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Anadolu Agency.

During a general strike, workplaces, courts, shopping malls, supermarkets and educational institutions – both private and public – close down.

Nov 9, 2013

SMEs Are Launching Pad For Economic Growth

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are contributing significantly to economic development of Bangladesh. A recent conference in Dhaka, as reported by the media on November 3, has highlighted the need for making good use of the Small and Medium Practices (SMPs) in guiding the small and medium enterprises in Bangladesh to their full growth, reports Financial Express.

Regulations for such enterprises, as the experts said, should benefit the businesses by creating a fair and efficient market. The regulations, as they further noted, should in no way create obstacles to the progress of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Nov 3, 2013

Tourism Fair 2013 in Dhaka

Tourism BD
Tourism Fair 2013, a three-day fair, is scheduled to be held in Dhaka in December 2013, amid apprehension over the ongoing political unrest. Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) is set to host the Bangladesh Travel and Tourism Fair (BTTF) 2013 from December 12 to 14 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).

TOAB President Taufiq Uddin Ahmed announced the schedule of the largest international travel event of Bangladesh at press conference in Dhaka on Saturday. The fair is to bring together local participants, business people from the tourism industry and other international participants from south Asian countries.

Oct 31, 2013

Bangladesh Top At Climate Change Vulnerability Index

Bangladesh, which topped both lists, with its capital, Dhaka, ranked the most vulnerable city at The Climate Change Vulnerability Index, an annual report produced by UK-based risk analysis firm Maplecroft. The report said about Bangladesh it due to its exposure to threats such as flooding, storm surge, cyclones and landslides, its susceptible population and weak institutional capacity to address the problem, reports CNN.

Nearly a third of the world's economic output will come from countries facing "high" to "extreme" risks from the impacts of climate change within 12 years, according to report. The Climate Change Vulnerability Index,  found that climate change "may pose a serious obstacle to sustainable economic growth in the world's most commercially important cities."

Along with the Bangladeshi capital, the four other cities categorized as facing "extreme risk" from climate change impacts were also located in Asia -- Mumbai, Manila, Kolkata and Bangkok -- and projected to be centers of high economic growth.


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