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Thailand, Bangladesh agree on zero duty for textile, apparel exports

Bangladeshi businessmen have agreed to help Thai exporters get zero duty for their textile products while Thai traders have agreed to help their Bangladeshi counterparts get the same facility for readymade garment products. Thailand has assured Bangladesh it would consider a tariff rate reduction for readymade garment products next year.

Bangladesh wants to engage with Thai businessmen and investors and is eager to present them with the promising business prospects. Some four or five telecom companies from Thailand are interested in investing in Bangladesh. Thai exports to Bangladesh were valued at about $800 million, while Bangladeshi exports to Thailand were estimated at $400 million during the last fiscal year.

The two countries have agreed to pursue direct coastal shipping links. Bangladesh and Thailand are both members of the seven-member Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec). Annual trade between Bangladesh and Thailand could quadruple to $4.8 billion if direct coastal shipping links between the two countries are established. Goods shipped between the two countries currently pass through Singapore and take two weeks, a time period that could be cut to six days with direct shipping.

The link will lower trading and shipping costs of goods and services, saving time of cargo shipping.