FTA may triple Bangladesh exports to Malaysia

Products from Bangladesh to Malaysia is subject to pay 30% to 40% duty, which would be waived after signing of the FTA 

The imminent Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia is expected to triple Bangladesh’s export to the Southeast Asian country, which was $100m in 2012-13 financial year, a high official said. “We’re now at the final stage of negotiating FTA with Malaysia, which is expected to increase our export earnings to $300m once the deal is signed,” AKM Atiqur Rahman, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia, told BSS in Kuala Lumpur. In an exclusive interview with this news agency, Rahman said products from Bangladesh to Malaysia is subject to pay 30% to 40% duty, which would be waived after signing of the FTA. “Market in Malaysia for Bangladesh’s products is bright especially for items like silk, ceramics, pharmaceutical and readymade garments,” said the envoy. Currently, the export items of Bangladesh to Malaysia are mostly law-end such as textile and clothing (70%), followed by consumer goods like vegetables, roots, tubers and other farm products and processed foods (10%), which face stiff competition with products coming from China, India, Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. Bangladeshi exporters are also facing uneven competition with the exporters of India and Pakistan who are enjoying duty-free access to Malaysia. The envoy, however, expressed hope that there would be a level-playing ground for Bangladeshi exporters once Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur sing the FTA. Besides, he said, the FTA would also offer bigger opportunities of expanding both trade and investment to the businesses and entrepreneurs of the two countries. Earlier in 2010, Bangladesh submitted a proposal to the International Trade and Industry Ministry of Malaysia for signing of the FTA. Figures show Bangladesh’s export to Malaysia is on steady growth as the country exported $100m to Malaysia in the just past 2012-13 fiscal, up from US$70m in 2011-12 fiscal. The export was only US$14m in 2006-07. Malaysia, the third largest economy in South East Asia, has GDP per capita of $17,200.

Source: Dhaka Tribune