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Bangladesh: Moving away from LDC may mean loss of benefits

If Bangladesh were to graduate to the league of a developing nation, it could lose the trade benefits that it had been enjoying so far as a least developed country. This could have a direct bearing on the country’s biggest foreign currency earner, the readymade garment industry.

As such, the country is going full throttle in pushing for free trade agreements with export destinations like the EU, Canada, Japan and China. It already seems to have made headway in garnering GSP status from Japan, which has reportedly assured that it will ensure duty-free facility for imports from Bangladesh, a move being viewed as a big commitment from a country where Bangladesh is eyeing to expand its apparel exports.

Bangladesh’s apparel exports to Japan rose 13.73 per cent compared to the previous year’s earnings. Overall export earnings from Japan have risen 11.73 per cent. Japan is a high-potential market for Bangladesh products and very soon it is expected to be a large export destination for Bangladesh’s goods, especially apparel and leather. The country’s earnings from exports to Japan are expected to reach two billion dollars over the next two to three years.

The European Union too has reiterated its commitment to ensure tariff-free trade benefits for Bangladesh.