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Free Trade with India: Assessing Indian gains from a Bangladesh perspective

June 16, 2003

Sajjad Zohir

The culture of assessing the potential gains and losses of your counterpart if common in international negotiations. Unfortunately, this was miserably missing in discourses visible in Bangladesh. This is one of several written during 2002-03.

When two parties negotiate, it is desirable to strike a deal which will bring benefits to both parties. Theories of economic exchanges, including international trade, have often considered that to be a basic premise; and these theories also try to prove that exchanges and trades can be mutually gainful. As in any case of exchange, one of the parties may be cheated, unknowingly engage in a contract detrimental to its own cause, or, be forced to accept an unfair deal. The worst may, however, arise when the parties representing the negotiating countries sell out the interest of the countrymen for personal gains. None of these need to be assumed at first, even though we often engage in such speculation and thereby facilitate such actions by refraining from positive engagements in discourses. We also assume here that our political representatives are sincerely pursuing the interest of the nation; and they welcome all perspectives on specific policy issue.

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