Political & economic relations

EU-Bangladesh institutional relations date back to 1973 and have developed over the years

The European Community (EC) had established diplomatic relations with Bangladesh in 1973. Some nine years later, an office of the European Commission was established in Dhaka, which was upgraded to a full-fledged Delegation in 1989.

On 22 May 2000, the European Community and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh signed the EC-Bangladesh Co-operation Agreement of 2001 , on Partnership and Development, which covered co-operation in trade and economic development, human rights, good governance and the environment.

The European Union has been maintaining a strong presence in the areas of economic development, human rights, good governance and the environment in Bangladesh and in 2011, the European Union was among the three biggest donors of grant finance to this country, with an estimated contribution of €500 million. Under the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2014-2020 , the EU has committed new grants up to €690 million.

In the areas of trade, more than half of Bangladesh’s total exports today go to the EU. The latest figures of Bangladesh Bank show that from January to March in 2016, Bangladesh earned 55.5 percent of its export receipts from the EU market. Bangladesh's robust trade growth in the EU is due to the most preferential trade arrangement granted unilaterally by the EU to LDCs, known as the "Everything but Arms" (EBA) scheme. Bangladesh now enjoys a significant trade surplus with the EU (Bangladesh-EU Trade statistics).

The EU is broadly supportive of the Government's reform agenda, and emphasises the need for it to deliver on its promises and to ensure compliance with Bangladesh’s human rights obligations.