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Agreement with Bangladesh on partnership and development

This Agreement strengthens cooperation relations between the European Union (EU) and Bangladesh. It foregrounds the vital importance of social development in the country, in parallel with its economic development and the protection of its environment.


Council Decision 2001/332/EC of 26 February 2001 concerning the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on partnership and development.

Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on partnership and development.


The cooperation put in place between the European Union (EU) and Bangladesh should contribute to the sustainable development of the country and the fight against poverty. Bangladesh is one of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Areas of cooperation

Special attention is paid by the partners to the fight against drugs and against HIV/AIDS. Their actions comprise:

  • prevention measures, monitoring and fighting AIDS;
  • information provision and educational activities;
  • improving access to health services and treatment for the sick;
  • the rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Trade cooperation aims at the expansion of trade and the opening up of markets. It takes place in compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. The partners therefore need to make progress towards removing trade barriers and resolving transit or re-export issues. They must improve customs cooperation and information sharing.

Moreover, the country must make progress in its undertakings as regards the protection of intellectual, industrial and commercial property rights.

Economic cooperation aims particularly at:

  • facilitating contacts between economic operators, business communities, enterprises and investors;
  • improving the business environment and conditions for investment, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • promoting technology transfer.

The agreement enshrines the principle of reciprocal access by the partners to their respective public works contracts. They apply the principle of free access to international maritime transport contracts.

In the area of the environment, cooperation must make it possible in particular to:

  • reduce the risks of natural disasters, and combat soil degradation in particular;
  • develop environmental policy and workers’ training;
  • promote sustainable and non-polluting energies.

The partners share knowledge in the field of science and technology. They cooperate in combating the production of drugs and money laundering.

A key point of the partnership is the development of workers’ rights and skills. International Labour Organization (ILO) instruments are to be implemented (in the areas of child labour, forced labour, freedom of association, trade union rights, etc.). Furthermore, measures are to be taken to foster education and vocational qualifications, particularly for the poorest population sectors.

Regional cooperation

Cooperation actions may be undertaken with other countries in the region, as a priority in the fields of:

  • technical assistance and workers’ training;
  • the promotion of intra-regional trade;
  • support for regional cooperation organisations (such as the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC));
  • examining questions with a regional dimension, particularly in the sectors of transport, communications, the environment and health.
Last updated: 14.07.2011
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