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Brexit may hit Bangladesh RMG exports

UK’s possible exit from the European Union may put a negative impact on the Bangladeshi exports to the UK, which is the third largest export destination for Bangladesh products, fear economists and exporters. With Britain set to vote on June 23 in a referendum to decide whether they should leave or remain in the European Union, latest opinion polls are suggesting a possible exit of UK from the EU.

According to economists, if the UK exits (commonly known as Brexit) the EU, Bangladesh would have to go for bilateral negotiation to avail trade facilities. ‘If the Brexit brings positive things for the economy of the UK it would not hit Bangladeshi exports, but if the exit leads to any adverse impact on the economy of UK and EU then we will be a sufferer, opined Centre for Policy Dialogue executive director Mustafizur Rahman. Bangladesh’s exports to UK was worth $3.20 billion in the financial year 2015-16 with $2.90 billion coming from readymade garments sector alone. Faruque Hassan, Senior VP, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, believes Bangladeshi export business would be hampered as the possible Brexit would damage the economy of the EU. He hoped if the UK leaves EU the duty benefits for Bangladesh would remain same.

Bangladesh enjoys duty-free benefits for all products and flexible rules of origins for readymade garments in the EU. Due to Brexit, Bangladesh would have to need bilateral agreements to avail the benefits in the UK.