Bangladesh is trying to secure duty free access to the Russian market at a time when the country’s export to that market is hitting close to one billion dollars.
The Russian government offers duty-free market access to 71 products and Dhaka is looking for inclusion of garment items in that list. Bangladesh hopes the early inclusion of apparel items in the duty-free list will provide a boost to its exports.
The three-nation customs union comprising Russia, Belarus and Kazakistan shares a common market and trade and tariff policies and if a product enters one market it can move to the two other markets without restrictions.
Garment exports are on a steady rise coming out of the shadow of the disasters that hit the industry last year. Bangladesh garment exports to the US recorded a significant increase during the first 10 months of this fiscal compared with the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. Bangladesh garments enter the US market making payment of customs duties at standard rates.
Japan is another promising market. Japanese buyers are showing more interest in apparels from Bangladesh because of their high quality and low cost. Chile has agreed to offer duty free market access to Bangladesh's garment products from next year.