Bangladesh emerges as important trade partner of China


With rapid growth of Bangladesh’s economy, country’s GDP growth is gradually seeing a brilliant rise legging behind most of the South Asian nations. With such brilliant performance, a number of investors from China in particular are already considering Bangladesh for investment due to multiple reasons, which includes political stability, investor-friendly tax tariff etcetera. Once this trend of economic growth can be maintained, Bangladesh certainly will succeed in emerging as one of the strongest economies in Asia bypassing economic growth of Singapore, while the country will be able to list itself as a developed nation by 2041. Prosperity of Bangladesh and its turning into the paragon of socio-economic progress is a result of the magnanimous statesmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. When Awami League came to power in January 2009 following a landslide victory in the general election, Sheikh Hasina vowed to transform an economically struggled and under-developed Bangladesh into a developed country. Her determination and dedicated leadership have made most of the impossible things turn possible.

In Bangladesh’s journey towards further prosperity, China has been extending supports on multiple levels being a trusted development partner. We know, the miraculous growth performances and development history of China offer an excellent opportunity of learning for Bangladesh. It is important to note, while most of the developed economies including the United States, Britain and the European Union experienced failing output due to the pandemic, China showed it resilience by maintaining growth momentum in 2020.

China already has emerged into a major global economic power having achieved remarkable transformations of its economy and in the process of becoming the world’s largest exporter and one of the most important sources of foreign investments.

Experts say, considering the geographic proximity and strong economic prospects of Bangladesh and China, in the coming years, China is expected to become an even more important trade and development partner of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh’s impending graduation from the group of least developed countries (LDCs), set to take place in 2026, testifies to its solid economic development process.

Experts say, effectively dealing with COVID-19, revitalizing the export-led growth process, and a renewed dynamism in investment activities are amongst the most important drivers that can put Bangladesh back in its recent track record of high economic growth, poverty alleviation, and making progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As Bangladesh aims to become an Upper Middle-Income Country (UMIC) by the 2031 fiscal year, and a High-Income Country (HIC) status by the 2041 fiscal year, China could be an important trade and development partner supporting Bangladesh’s growth prospects and economic transformation in a post pandemic world.

As part of its unilateral market access schemes for LDCs, the Chinese government has allowed Bangladesh exports to China Duty-Free Quota Free access for 97 percent of its tariff lines from July 1, 2020.

Under this initiative, 8,256 Bangladeshi products enjoy zero tariff for exports to China. We now need to take initiatives in establishing a full-fledged Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China to retain the available market access to the huge Chinese market. Implementation of FTA with China will open the new vista of opportunities to Bangladeshi products into the Chinese households. In this case, for example, China can emerge as one of the major buyers of Bangladeshi textile and garment products while there can also be significant progress in our high-tech and tourism sector. We need to establish special cells at our mission in Beijing and other Chinese cities with the objective of extending required services to the Chinese entrepreneurs and investors, thus finally succeeding in encouraging them in investing into various sectors in Bangladesh. At the same time, interaction of our missions in China should significantly increase with various business bodies as well as large media outlets.

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