The government of Bangladesh has appointed a fourth research institution, the Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI), to the growing Vi network of think tanks. 

Recommended to the Vi by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in Geneva, BFTI academics became interested in joining during a recent visit to Switzerland to discuss academic cooperation with Pierre Sauvé, Vi coordinator at Swiss core university member, the World Trade Institute.

BFTI is a non-profit organization established as a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Commerce and the private sector. It aims to develop into an internationally reputed institute for trade policy research and a centre of excellence for education and training on trade- and business-related subjects.

The mandates of the organization include policy support to the government and the private sector associations on WTO/trade-related issues; assistance to the strengthening of their trade-related capacities; and serving as a forum for consultations between policymakers and business leaders.

The research agenda of the organization covers topics related to the position of the country with regard to various WTO agreements and negotiations; bilateral and regional trade agreements of which Bangladesh is a party; national trade policy of the country; sectoral studies; and AidForTrade initiatives. BFTI also organizes training on a long list of trade-related issues, going from technical issues of interest to policymakers to courses on international trade law and advanced research techniques and methods.

BFTI has named its Chief Executive Officer, Mozibur Rahman Vi member coordinator. Holder of a PhD in economics, his research focuses on trade policy, foreign direct investmentI, monetary policy, competition policy, and agricultural marketing. He will be assisted by research fellow, Mohammad Farhad, whose areas of expertise include trade policy analysis, regional integration, trade and development, AidForTrade, and trade facilitation.

BFTI would be happy to contribute to the Vi network by sharing information and experiences, and building partnerships in collaborative research, training and education. They expect that being part of the Vi will give them access to research resources, as well as opportunities for cooperation with other members of the network.

For more information, visit BFTI's profile on the Vi website.