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Allow exporters to partly sell to foreign outlets: BGMEA

Jan '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) recently requested the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to allow garment exporters to sell free of duty a portion of their export products to global brands’ outlets in Bangladesh. Domestic apparel brands have opposed the proposal saying such a move would hurt their businesses due to uneven competition.

BGMEA president Rubana Huq, in a letter to the NBR chairman on January 11, said that many renowned global brands expressed interest in establishing outlets in Bangladesh but held back the plans due to lack of conducive policy support,according to Bangla media reports.

“The country is losing foreign investment and local consumers are being deprived of the ability to buy global brands’ products at reasonable prices due to lack of time-befitting policy,” Rubana said in the letter.

According to a statutory order issued by the NBR in June 1996, cent per cent export-oriented industries are allowed to sell products equal in volume to 20 per cent of their total exports of the previous year in the domestic market by paying the applicable duty.

But many foreign brands are keen to procure the 20 per cent products free of duty for their outlets in Bangladesh, Huq said.

She requested the NBR to formulate a policy to facilitate selling of the 20 per cent products duty-free and to consider the sale as export.

Recently, French sporting goods retailer Decathlon sent a letter to BGMEA seeking its cooperation to procure products from exporters duty-free, according to BGMEA officials. The brand said it had to pay 130 per cent customs duties for importing many garments and shoes, even for ones made in Bangladesh, to sell at its outlet.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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