Faruque Hassan, President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) says, a duty-free access to the Russian market will provide it a great opportunities to strengthen ties with the nation. Bangladesh can also provide Russian consumers quality goods at competitive rates, he adds.
Currently, clothes made in Bangladesh faces 5 to 20 per cent customs duty in Russia. Ttrade between the two countries faces some banking related difficulties. Hassan says, they aim to identify these barriers and resolve them. Habib Ullah Dawn, President, Commonwealth of Independent States-Bangladesh Chamber of Industry affirms, Bangladesh has signed an MoU with the Eurasian Economic Union, to facilitate a free trade agreement.
Duty-free access to Russia will enable Bangladeshi exporters to explore Russian-led Eastern European economic union markets comprising Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan besides opening the markets of the Commonwealth of Independent States as well, he adds. At present, CIS units: are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
In fiscal 2020-21, Bangladesh's total export to Russia totalled $665.32 million and import from Russia amounted to $481.88 million. So, bilateral trade was worth only $1.1 billion. Readymade garments constitute around 90 per cent of Bangladesh’s total exports to Russia. In FY21, Bangladesh exports apparels worth $593.66 million to Russia, which can be increased further, he opines.