The country’s trade gap with India recorded its all-time high in the last financial year at $5.57 billion as different non-tariff barriers continued to limit Bangladesh’s exports to the neighbouring country, said economists and experts. The trade deficit between Bangladesh and India increased by 33.76 per cent to $5.57 billion in the FY14 from $4.17 billion in the FY13, according to the latest Bangladesh Bank and Export Promotion Bureau data.
The BB and EPB data, however, showed that the trade gap between the two countries had decreased to $4.17 billion in the FY13 from $4.24 billion in the FY12, but the deficit strongly rebounded in the FY14 due to the lower export earnings of Bangladesh from India.
Economists and experts said that India had earlier given duty-free access for some certain products including readymade garments of Bangladesh, but the country failed to gain from the opportunity due to the non-tariff barrier imposed by some state governments of India.
Bangladesh imported Indian goods worth $6.03 billion in the FY14 against its exports of $456.63 million.
In the FY13, the imports from India were $4.74 billion while exports were $563.96 million.
The BB and EPB data showed that the trade gap between Bangladesh and India was $4.05 billion in the FY11 and $3.51 billion in the FY10.
Former caretaker government adviser Mirza Azizul Islam told New Age on Wednesday that the trade deficit between the two countries was still high due to lower exports from Bangladesh to India.
He said that a number of state governments of India were not following their central government’s direction of duty-free access facility for Bangladeshi goods including RMG products.
For this reason, the country’s export earnings from India have not reached to a satisfactory level in the recent fiscal years, he said.
He said that the government should take initiatives to get the non-tariff barrier removed in a bid to increase the export earnings from India.
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies research director Zaid Bakht told New Age that the government should increase its negotiation skill with India in a bid to increase its export earnings from the neighbouring country.
He said that the Indian central government had given duty-free access for some Bangladeshi products, but the state governments of the country are yet to implement the rules.
He said that the government should have to take initiatives to increase its export earnings from India to decrease the trade deficit with the country.
The EPB data showed that the exports of RMG products to India increased to $96.25 million in the FY14 against $75.21 million in the FY13 but the export earnings from the non-RMG products posted negative growth.
Exports of jute and jute-related products decreased to $80.70 million in the FY14 from $133.85 million in the FY13 while exports of fruits and related items fell to $60.71 million from $67.53 million and fish to $4.01 million from $13.78 million.
The BB data showed that the import of cereals from India increased to $1,085.90 million in the FY14 from $487 million in the FY13, that of cotton including cotton yarn and cotton fabrics to $1,421 million from $1,260 million, that of iron and steel to $213.50 million from $113.30 million, that of organic chemicals to $160.80 million from $125.40 million and that of vehicles other than railways or tramway rolling-stock and parts and accessories to $497.80 million from $300.40 million.
-With New Age input