The Financial Express

Dhaka moves to devise strategy for post-LDC apparel market growth

| Updated: October 24, 2021 12:17:22

Dhaka moves to devise strategy for post-LDC apparel market growth

The government has taken an initiative to devise strategies for the country's apparel sector so that it could face competition and expand its market in the post-LDC graduation era, officials said.

They said the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh would soon launch a study to assess the needs of the sector and provide support accordingly.

In a recent letter to the Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI), the EPB has invited a proposal on conducting the study.

An EPB source mentioned that the competitor countries have regularly been providing different policy support to their export sectors, aiming to expand the market and survive the competition.

"We have taken a move to conduct a study for determining necessary policy support and incentives, including subsidies, to be offered before and after the country's graduation from the LDC status," said an official at the EPB.

"We will analyse the mechanisms and strategies of the close competitors."

The EPB has already prepared the terms of references (ToR) for the proposed study, he said.

When contacted, EPB Vice Chairman and CEO A. H. M. Ahsan said it would take 3-6 months to complete the study.

"We will send the study recommendations to the authorities concerned for taking the next course of action," he added.

The government would consider possible consequences of the post-LDC era and Covid-19 impacts so that the RMG sector can absorb any shock, said a high official.

The study would also aim to retain the duty-free market access and other trade facilities even after the country's graduation to developing country status, he added.

"We are now working on the issue. A process is underway which is now at its initial stage," a senior official of the EPB told the FE.

Another senior official said the study is expected to focus on strengthening the competitiveness of the industry which is expected to help boost exports of RMG items significantly.

"We need to take an initiative to reap all the benefits from the different export destinations for the RMG sector after graduation," said an official having knowledge about the issue.

He said that many developed countries would not provide duty-free facilities to Bangladesh after its graduation from the LDC status in 2026.

"We have received a proposal from EPB to conduct a study. We are working on the issue," a high official at the BFTI said.

Currently, RMG is the country's largest export earning sector.

The country fetched US$ 31.45 billion from RMG exports in FY'21, up from $27.94 billion in FY'20. The RMG export earnings were $34.13 billion in FY 2018-19.

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