Despite China offering duty-free market access to 97 per cent of Bangladesh products, more than a third of total apparel exports continue to remain out of duty-free benefit coverage. As Rubana Huq, President, BGMEA, says, out of 507 million worth of apparels exported by Bangladesh to China in fiscal 2018-19, only $308.4 million worth of apparels enjoyed duty free benefits. Garment products worth $20 million out of the remaining $198 million would be included in the latest duty-free scheme, she adds.
In June, the Tariff Commission of the Chinese State Council granted zero treatment to 97 per cent of tariff products of Bangladesh to its market effective from July 1. China then included additional 5,161 Bangladeshi products to enjoy zero-tariff treatment in its market. Prior to that, 3,095 Bangladeshi products were eligible for duty-free access to the market under the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement.
To get duty free benefits in China, Bangladesh would have to add 40 per cent more value to its exports, says Huq. Earlier, the threshold for value addition was 30 per cent for the China market. Bangladesh's RMG export to China declined by 34.35 per cent to $72.21 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020-21. It was $109.99 million during July-September period of the last fiscal.