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Bangladesh to seek waiver of Indian restriction on RMG exports
Apr '11
Bangladesh proposes to place its longstanding demand for earning duty-free access for 61 items to India, or waiver of the current quantitative ceiling on the duty-free export of its apparel items to India, before the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister, during his forthcoming visit to Bangladesh.

The demands would be placed before the Indian Commerce Minister during the bilateral discussions.

The Indian Minister would reach Bangladesh on April 23 for a two-day visit. He would head a 33 member team, which includes 21 prominent businessmen and two government secretaries.

Bangladesh even has an alternative proposal to earn zero-duty access exclusively for all ready-made garment (RMG) items, by means of waiver of existing quantitative ceiling that the Indian government has imposed.

In addition to the above, Dhaka would demand withdrawal of non-tariff barriers that the Indian customs authority frequently imposes on Bangladeshi goods.

During his stay in Dhaka, the Indian Minister would carry out extensive discussions with Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Pursuant to a bilateral trade agreement between India and Bangladesh, India presently allows duty-free export of only eight million pieces of readymade garments from Bangladesh, each year.

Bangladesh for long has been trying to persuade India to gain duty-free access for 61 items to the Indian market. This benefit can be provided either in accordance with a bilateral deal or under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement.

Currently, all Bangladeshi items, other than the 480 items that fall under India's 'Sensitive List' under the SAFTA agreement, enjoy zero-duty access to Indian market.

The major items included in India's 'sensitive List' are blouses for women or girls, overalls and shorts for boys, girls and women, trousers for men or boys, skirts and divided skirts for girls, cotton nightshirts and pajamas for men or boys, swimwear for boys, girls and women, bra's made of all kind of textile materials, night dresses and cotton pajamas for women or girls, made-up clothing accessories, swimwear for boys, girls and women and tracksuits.

Editorial note –
In case the Indian government gives the nod to removing quantitative restrictions on exports of clothing from Bangladesh, it could open new doors from Bangladeshi RMG exports, considering that India is a very big market.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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