BD finalises list of 300 items for duty-free market access

BD finalises list of 300 items for duty-free market access
PTA negotiation with Indonesia
Talha Bin Habib | Sunday, 22 September 2019

The government of Bangladesh is set to send Indonesia a list of products next month for getting duty-free access under a proposed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), officials said.
They said the ministry of commerce (MoC) has finalised the list of 300 products for approval by the government of Indonesia.
“The list will be sent to Jakarta in the second week of October next,” an additional secretary of the MoC, who preferred not to be named, told the FE.
He said Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC), as per requirement of the MoC, prepared the list of products for zero tariff market access to Indonesia.
The products include readymade garment (RMG), jute and jute goods, light engineering and plastic products etc.
Indonesia will also send their list of 300 products to Dhaka for approval by the government Bangladesh, according to the MoC sources.
Earlier last week, a meeting of stakeholders was held at the MoC that discussed about the list of products.
“Initially we will seek zero tariff on our 300 products, on which more than five per cent tariff rates are currently applicable in Indonesia,” said the MoC official.
“Indonesia and Bangladesh will be benefited if there is a PTA between the two countries,” former president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry Asif Ibrahim told the FE.
Meanwhile, a high-powered government delegation from Indonesia will visit Bangladesh in January next for the third round of Indonesia-Bangladesh Preferential Trade Agreement (IBPTA) talks in Dhaka, according to the MoC sources.
During the talks, there is a possibility to finalise the lists of products of both countries for the PTA.
If the product lists are approved, the two countries will proceed further for discussion on the rules of origin, the sources added.
The first round of PTA talks between the two countries was held in Dhaka in January last and the second one in Bali (Indonesia) in July last.
Bangladesh and Indonesia have signed five instruments for boosting cooperation in different sectors including trade, diplomacy, fishing and energy between the two countries during the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bangladesh last year.
The balance of trade between the two countries is now tilting in favour of Indonesia.
Bangladesh mainly imports petroleum products, palm oil, coal and railway wagons from Indonesia and exports some readymade garment items and processed foods to Indonesia.

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