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The EU works closely with Bangladesh in the framework of the EU-Bangladesh Co-operation Agreement, concluded in 2001. This agreement provides broad scope for co-operation, extending to trade and economic development, human rights, good governance and the environment.

Bangladesh has been a WTO member since 1995 and, as a least developed country, benefits from the EU's "Everything but Arms" arrangement, which grants duty free, quota free access for all exports, except arms and ammunition.

Trade picture

  • The EU is Bangladesh's main trading partner, accounting for around 24% of Bangladesh's total trade in 2015.
  • In 2015, Bangladesh was the EU's 35th largest trading partner in goods.
  • EU imports from Bangladesh are dominated by clothing, accounting for over 90% of the EU's total imports from Bangladesh.
  • EU exports to Bangladesh are dominated by machinery and transport equipment (49%).
  • From 2008 to 2015, EU28 imports from Bangladesh have almost trebled from €5,464 million to €15,145 million, which represents nearly half of Bangladesh's total exports.

EU-Bangladesh: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2018-2020, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2018 15.2 3.2 -12.0
2019 16.3 3.0 -13.3
2020 13.6 2.2 -11.4

EU-Bangladesh: Trade in services

Trade in services 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 0.4 0.6 0.1
2018 0.5 0.6 0.1
2019 0.5 0.6 0.1

EU-Bangladesh: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2019, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2019 0.0 1.2 1.1

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 12/04/2021

More statistics on Bangladesh

EU and Bangladesh

As a Least Developed Country (LDC), Bangladesh benefits from the most favourable regime available under the EU's Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP), namely the Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement. EBA grants the 48 LDCs – including Bangladesh – duty free quota, free access to the EU for exports of all products, except arms and ammunition.

In July 2013, in response to the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex which killed scores of workers, the EU took the initiative of launching a Sustainability Compact for Bangladesh with the aim of improving labour rights and factory safety in the ready-made garment industry. The initiative brings together the EU, the Government of Bangladesh, the USA, Canada - i.e. the main markets for Bangladeshi garment production - as well as the International labour Organisation (ILO). The Compact is based on short and long term commitments related to three inter-linked pillars:

  • respect for labour rights;
  • structural integrity of buildings and occupational safety and health;
  • responsible business conduct.

The Compact has contributed to tangible improvements in workplace safety, though respect of workers' rights remains a pressing issue in Bangladesh. The EU's Fourth Technical Report on the Bangladesh Sustainability Compact was published in October 2017.

Trading with Bangladesh