Staff Correspondent: Referring to the export of goods worth about 60 billion US dollars from Bangladesh last year, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, “The government is working on the target of exporting $80 billion in 2024 and $100 billion in 2026.”
The minister said these things while addressing the Meet the Press program organized by Overseas Correspondents of Bangladesh (OCAB) at Akram Khan Auditorium of National Press Club in Dhaka on Saturday.
The Minister of Commerce said, “Bangladesh has become a developing country after graduating from LDC. It will come into effect in 2026, after three more years i.e. from 2029, Bangladesh will no longer have the trade facilities of LDC countries. Since then, world trade has to be done by competing with developed countries. Bangladesh has already started working to face this challenge of export trade. We have preferential trade agreements with Bhutan.
Negotiations are going on seriously to conclude trade agreements like PTA or FTA with several other countries.
Referring to the trade gap between Bangladesh and China and India due to the import of industrial machinery and raw materials, the commerce minister said, ‘China has given duty-free facilities to 99% of goods exported to reduce the trade gap. Bangladesh is working for a CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) agreement with India.
At present Bangladesh’s manufactured garment sector is contributing about 82% of the total exports, the commerce minister said, “Also, special initiatives have been taken to increase the export of about 10 products including ICT, leather, plastic, light engineering, jute.” Their exports are increasing day by day. We have more potential in exporting readymade garments. Myanmar was one of Bangladesh’s competitors, with their garment sector almost closed. The China-made garment industry is relocating. As a result, our chances have increased.
He said, ‘We have skilled manpower, production cost is low. Green factories are now the largest in Bangladesh in the ready-made garment industry. As a result, we have huge potential in export trade.
In response to the questions of the journalists, the commerce minister said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent visit to India was successful. India has agreed to provide free transit facilities by road with Bhutan and Nepal. Road, sea and air trade opportunities are increasing with India, communication system is improving, river water sharing agreements have been signed in total seven.
By doing this, Bangladesh will benefit a lot. India is investing in Bangladesh’s three Special Economic Zones, Bangladesh will consider more.
India’s existing problems with Bangladesh are being resolved through dialogue. He said that the government is monitoring the increase in the price of eggs. The importation of eggs will be considered, if necessary, by protecting the domestic industry. Bangladesh used to import all the accessories including needle, thread, buttons and cartons from different countries and exported the garments abroad. Now Bangladesh is exporting Garment Accessories abroad to meet domestic demand. We have capabilities, we have to use them.
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