The devastating impact of Covid-19 pandemic has struck the apparel manufacturing and export sector hard, with exports dipping (-) 18.45 per cent YOY, followed by mass order cancellations and a significant drop in new work orders. But the recent decision of the Chinese Government to offer duty- and quota-free access to 8,256 export items from Bangladesh from 1st July is all set to change the dynamics of mutual trade between the two countries. It is to mention that Bangladesh, being a least developed country (LDC), has already been enjoying the zero-duty benefit on export to the EU under its Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) since 1971.
Meanwhile, mutual trade and commerce between India and Bangladesh is also expected to touch new heights, when some decisions on the extension of protocol routes, inclusion of two new ones, and declaration of five new ports of call came into effect, following recent signing of the second Addendum to the Protocol between Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das and Bangladesh’s Shipping Secretary Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury.
The country unveiled a Taka 5,68,000 crore National Budget 2020-21 in the Parliament with an ambitious target of 8.2 per cent GDP growth. Team AOB spoke to the industry experts to know their views and if they think the industry would need more support – policy and fiscal – to tide over the current situation.