Bangladesh is going to start negotiations with Turkey for signing a bilateral free-trade agreement soon. The imposition of 17 per cent additional duty by Turkey on apparel items is seriously affecting exports from Bangladesh.
Apparel products account for over 75 per cent of Bangladesh’s total exports to Turkey. The signing of the proposed pact may lead to abolition of the duty on Bangladesh’s exports. In the fiscal year 2013-’14, Bangladesh exported goods worth around $856 million to Turkey while its imports from Turkey cost around $200 million.
Turkey in July 2012 levied 17 per cent additional duty on apparel from least developed countries including Bangladesh. Till then exports from these countries enjoyed zero-duty facilities in the Turkish market.
As an impact of paying the additional duty, Bangladesh’s apparel exports to Turkey came down to $355.93 million in 2011-12 from $518.32 million in 2010-11. That marked a steep fall from the 69.24 per cent growth posted in 2010-11 over apparel product shipments worth $306.27 million in 2009-10.
Bangladesh’s major exports to Turkey include apparels and clothing accessories, textile yarn and related products. Imports include lime, cement, products of chemical and allied industries, cotton yarn and cotton fabrics, iron and steel.