NBR advises against deal in case Bangladesh has trade deficit

19 Nov 2020 9:37 AM
Image: Collected
The earnings board has suggested refraining from signing any free trade or preferential trade agreements with the countries having enormous trade gap with Bangladesh.

No cost trade agreement (FTA) or preferential trade agreement (PTA) with India, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia ought to be avoided to heighten the gap.

The National Table of Earnings (NBR) has exhorted the authorities to consider the entire revenue management aspect at the time of signing such trade offers.

FTA, PTA or in depth economic partnership agreement (CEPA) cannot affect revenue collection as import income still contributes over 30 % of the full total tax earnings, it said.

The customs worldwide trade and agreement wing of the NBR manufactured the proposals in a feasibility study of commerce ministry on the signing of trade agreements with numerous countries.

It has sent a nine-point job way for signing such agreements to commerce secretary carrying out a query from the ministry.

According to available info, trade deficit between Bangladesh and China stood by $12,808 million in fiscal year (FY) 2018-19.

India's exports to Bangladesh found in FY 2018-19 had been $9.21 billion and imports through the period were $1.04 billion.

In FY 2018, export from Bangladesh to Malaysia was $232.42 million and import to Bangladesh $1.41 billion.

The NBR has thus recognised the necessity for conducting feasibility tests by the federal government and non-governmental organisations and vetting by the NBR and other stakeholders prior to signing such deals.

On the feasibility article, the ministry concerned should take thoughts and opinions of the business enterprise community too.

The board also stressed the need for considering protection of native industries during signing such trade bargains.

The NBR said it devises earnings strategies and fiscal measures considering protection of domestic industries.

Bangladesh should prioritise its key export places and zones for signing trade agreements.

The NBR proposed signing FTA and PTA with the countries where Bangladesh may lose the existing trade benefits following its graduation to a middle-income country.

It said the government should try to indication agreements with europe or perhaps the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN).

Speaking with the FE, a senior commerce ministry official stated they are preparing to signal CEPA with India which is within process.

PTA with Bhutan would be inked on December 06 as the initially bilateral trade contract of Bangladesh.

The official said the government is prioritising handles other countries to improve bilateral trade.

Currently, Bangladesh is negotiating with Nepal, Indonesia and Sri Lanka above PTA or FTA to extend preferential or duty-free market access.

Vietnam, Thailand, Morocco, Malaysia, the USA, Japan, Canada, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, South Korea, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt and 3 regional blocs of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Eurasian Economic Commission and MERCOSUR happen to be under evaluation for FTA or PTA negotiations.