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Bangladesh in dilemma about joining TPP

Bangladesh doesn’t hope to get any significant benefits by joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Exports anyway get tariff-free access to markets in most TPP member-countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand.

In fact Bangladesh’s income from duty on imports from those markets will fall if it joins TPP as the country will have to reciprocate to some extent by reducing import tariffs for partner countries. So, Bangladesh will see a dip in revenue earnings from import duty since TPP member countries like Singapore and Japan are two major sources of Bangladesh’s imports. In the fiscal year 2015, the country sourced some 10 per cent of its total imports from Singapore and Japan. Currently import duties contribute around 27 per cent of the total revenue earnings of Bangladesh.

Under the TPP framework, Bangladesh will get free market access to the US, but to achieve this the country will need to improve standards in some areas. But what’s certain is that Bangladesh will face competition from Vietnam once the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes into force.

Vietnam is among the 12 countries that are part of the TPP. Under the agreement the member countries have a vast scope to derive mutual economic benefits through duty relief.