Plurilateral Trade Agreements and the Impact on LDC's - To Participate or not to Participate? Country Case Study: Bangladesh

Given its long association with the multilateral trading system, Bangladesh has adopted a cautious stance towards the concept of plurilateral trade agreements (PTAs). It knows that it would face a number of risks and uncertainties if it were to join one or more plurilateral(s), including having to conform to agendas that could well be better suited to developed than developing countries. As Bangladesh is not involved (even as an observer) in any of the plurilateral negotiations, the approach taken in this case study is to comment on and draw conclusions both from the country’s general activities in the services, IT, government procurement and environmental goods sectors, and from stakeholders’ expressed opinions and concerns about the plurilaterals. Broad references are also made to the results of the quantitative analysis. To provide a wider context to the discussion, an overview of Bangladesh’s economic and trade activities and relationships is provided below.