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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Bangladesh: Look beyond garment sector

Thursday, June 18, 2015 > 09:51:17

(The Financial Express)

World Bank tells govt for new sources of export growth

Bangladesh needs to go beyond the ready-made garments (RMG) sector in order to accelerate its overall export growth. 

Some sectors to help boost export in near future include shipbuilding, jute, bicycle, pharmaceuticals and information technology (IT).

These are stated in the draft report of the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) of Bangladesh. The World Bank (WB) has conducted the comprehensive study to identify the country's constraints on trade regime.

The DTIS draft report, in three parts, has already been submitted to the government, and on the basis of comments and suggestions a revision is now going on for its finalisation.

The study also set four pillars for actions to accelerate the country's export as well as overall foreign trade.

The first pillar -- 'breaking into new markets' -- stressed better exploration of regional trading opportunities and better trade logistics for reducing delivery lags and becoming more competitive in nearby markets, especially in Asia.

The second pillar -- 'breaking into new products' -- suggested more neutral and rational trade policy, taxation, bonded warehouse schemes and concerted efforts to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI).

'Improving worker and consumer welfare' is the third pillar, which focused on improving skills and literacy, implementing labour and work safety guidelines, and making safety nets more effective in dealing with trade shocks.

The final pillar -- 'building a supportive environment' -- recommended sustaining sound macro-economic fundamentals, easing the energy constraints, and strengthening the institutional capacity.

"In the DTIS, a set of recommendations has been made for enhancing the trade-related capacity of the country," said Amitava Chakraborty, additional secretary of the Ministry of Commerce.

Once the study is finalised, Bangladesh can easily approach Aid for Trade under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) mechanism. The country can also get assistance from the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), a multi-lateral arrangement of assistance for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Mr Chakraborty also said the DTIS has already identified some growing sectors, having more potential to grow in future. It has also set an action plan to support these sectors and enhance the trade volume.

When contacted through email, Dr Sanjay Kathuria, WB Economist and also one of the task-team leaders for the report, told the FE that the DITS is now in the process of being published. 

"We hope that the published copies will be available by November 2015," he said.

On benefit of the DTIS, the WB economist said the report analyses as to how Bangladesh can maximise its gains from being engaged with the global economy. 

"Jobs based on foreign demand, such as those in the garment sector, are crucial for Bangladesh to provide better quality jobs for two million people entering as workforce each year."

"The DTIS suggests actions that will help Bangladesh diversify its exports, take better advantage of regional and global demand, and attract more FDI, among others," he added.

Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the EIF, told the FE that the DTIS is a flagship report, supported by the EIF that assesses the competitiveness of the country's economy and of the sectors that are engaged or have the potential to be engaged in international trade.

"Through the countrywide analytical study, the DTIS helps countries identify and address constraints to trade, economic growth and sustainable development," he said in an email reply to the FE.

"The DTIS also provides a basis for action by the governments, civil society, private sector and development partner stakeholders to own the trade and development track of a country to secure a strong trading future," he added.



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