Negotiation underway to ink bilateral trade deals

$100b export by 2026

18 September 2022

Staff Reporter :
The government has set target of export earnings worth $100 billion by 2026 and the entrepreneurs are working to achieve the goal.
"Goods and services worth around $60 billion were exported in the last fiscal year. Efforts are underway to raise the overall exports to $80 billion in 2024 and $100 billion in 2026," said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi at a Meet the Press programme organised by the Overseas Correspondents of Bangladesh (OCAB) at the National Press Club in the capital on Saturday.
He noted that Bangladesh has become a developing country after graduating from the LDC status and it will come into effect in 2026.
"Bangladesh will no longer enjoy the trade facilities meant for LDCs. Then world trade has to be done by competing with developed countries," the commerce minister said.
"We have a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bhutan and negotiations are underway to ink trade agreements such as preferential trade arrangements (PTAs) or free trade agreements (FTAs) with several other countries to boost the export earnings," he added.
Mentioning the country's big trade gap with China and India for importing capital machineries and raw materials, he said, "China has granted duty-free access to 99 per cent of Bangladeshi export products to reduce the gap. We are also pursuing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) agreement with India to increase exports in order to keep the economy strong."
Pointing out the ready-made garments (RMG) sector contributes about 82 per cent of total exports, he said, "Special initiatives have been taken to increase the export of 10 products from various sectors including ICT, leather, plastic, light engineering, and jute."
Myanmar was once a competitor of Bangladesh in RMG but their garment sector is almost closed and China is relocating its RMG industry, which is why the possibility of export of manufactured  garments has increased, the commerce minister said.
"We have skilled manpower and the production cost is low. Green factories in the RMG industry are now the largest in Bangladesh. As a result, we have huge potential in export trade," he said.
OCAB Convener Qadir Kallol, Member-Secretary Nazrul Islam Mithu and senior member Farid Hossain, among others, were present at the event.

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