Economic Condition Bangladesh

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trade policy regime: framework and objectives

1 Overview

During the period under review, Bangladesh's legislative and institutional framework governing trade and foreign direct investment has changed only slightly. Efforts have been made to ensure better policy coordination of trade and related WTO matters by, inter alia, creating a WTO Cell at the Ministry of Commerce, the Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute and a National Advisory Committee. Despite its strong attachment to, and active involvement in, the multilateral rules-based system, Bangladesh, an advocate of special and differential treatment of LDCs at the WTO, is involved in negotiations to deepen its existing regional integration (including free-trade agreements) and for other preferential trade arrangements. Bangladesh has benefited from several forms of trade-related technical assistance (Annex II.1). Foreign direct investment in the ready made garments (RMGs) industry is no longer discouraged.

2 Institutional Framework

The President is the Head of State, elected by Members of Parliament for a term of five years extendable for another term; the current President's term began in September 2002. Executive power is vested in the Prime Minister, who selects and heads the Cabinet; the Cabinet is collectively responsible to Parliament. The President appoints the Prime Minister. The President's duties are generally ceremonial, as he/she must act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

Legislative power is vested in Parliament, which comprises 300 members directly elected by universal adult suffrage and, as from 2004, an additional 45 (previously 30) women members elected by the other 300 members. Unless dissolved sooner by the President, Parliament is dissolved on the expiry of the five-year period from the date of its first meeting, and a general election is called by the President. The last parliamentary elections were held in October 2001.

A proposal for a law,

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