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Bangladesh urges Turkey to rollback import duty on RMG
Nov '12
The Government of Bangladesh has demanded rollback of the 17.5 percent duty levied by Turkey on readymade garment (RMG) imports from Bangladesh, claiming that the levy has badly impacted its sales to European countries.
The demand was raised during the inaugural session of the Fourth Bangladesh-Turkey Joint Economic Commission at the Economic Relations Division (ERD).
Earlier, developing countries were allowed to export their apparels to Turkey duty-free. However, to safeguard its domestic industry, Turkey subjected such imports to 17.5 percent levy since July 2011.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), impacted by the levy, Bangladesh experienced a 9.21 percent year-on-year fall in its apparel exports to Turkey during July-September 2012.
Exports of knitwear items dropped from 2010-11’s US$ 272 million to US$ 124 million in 2011-12, while that of woven items fell from US$ 245 million to US$ 231 million.
Co-chairing the inaugural session of the meeting, Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the duty imposition has pushed down the country’s apparel exports, and to some extent, has also reduced the interest of the Bangladeshi trade bodies in exploring prospects of exporting to Turkey, one of Europe’s emerging markets.
The Turkish delegation was headed by its Labour and Social Security Minister Faruk Celik.
In response to Bangladeshi demand for removal of import duty on its garments, Turkey said it would have to ink a free trade agreement (FTA) with Bangladesh for the purpose, so the Bangladeshi apparel exporters can benefit from duty-free access.
However, as Turkey is endeavouring to obtain the EU membership, it would be required to obtain EU’s permission before entering into any such trade pact.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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