Bonded warehouse facility and back-to-back letter of credit facility should be open for all for the export of all sorts of goods to diversify export products, said experts and businesses at a workshop on Thursday.
They came up with the observation while speaking at a stakeholders’ consultation workshop on ‘Export Diversification : Challenges and Priorities’ organised by Bangladesh Enterprise Institute at IFIC Tower in Dhaka.
Commonwealth Secretariat adviser and head of international trade and regional cooperation Section Mohammad Razzaque presented a keynote paper on ‘Revitalising Bangladesh’s export trade : Policy issues for growth acceleration and diversification’.
Razzaque in his presentation said that there should be alternatives of diversifying export destinations and products to achieve $60 billion export target by the year 2021.
Although the country has continued to achieve more than 6 per cent growth, export to GDP ratio has declined a bit in last couple of years and to increase the ratio for sustaining economic growth there was no alternative to increasing exports, he said.
To facilitate export diversification and ensure equal facility treatment among the exporters, all the sectors should get bonded warehouse facility as well as back-to-back letter of credit facility that helped the country’s readymade garment sector to grow, Razzaque said.
Salman F Rahman, private sector development advisor to prime minister, also said that the bonded warehouse and back-to-back LC facilities should be opened for all to support other exporters.
Suggesting for the continuation of existing facility for the RMG sector, Salman, also president of BEI, said, ‘We need product diversification for the economic growth but not at the cost of RMG sector.’
Former Dhaka University economics department chairman Wahiduddin Mahmud said that the gov
ernment should set a broad category, and announce subsidy and cash incentives for longer period to help the sectors to contribute to exports as well as economic growth.
Speaking about the exchange rate issue, the eminent economist also said, ‘As balance of payment has turned negative, the government should not try to control the exchange rate anymore.’
Centre for Policy Dialogue distinguished fellow Mustafizur Rahman said, ‘Apart from diversification of other products, intra-RMG sector product diversification is also important as we have created a strong foothold in the sector and it’s a one trillion dollar
Speaking about the repeated change in policy, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said, ‘Electricity price has been doubled with just a so-called hearing and that led our foreign partners to backtrack.’
Speaking about the 0.70 per cent source tax
imposed on apparel
sector, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed said, ’Although we cannot do a lot for the sector but such tax should not remain on the sector.’
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