UK to continue duty-free market access to Bangladesh after LDC graduation

Desk Report: The UK will continue to provide Bangladesh with duty-free access to its market after the country’s graduation from the LDC category.

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson said this while responding to a query from Acting President of BGMEA Shahidullah Azim about the duty-free market access for Bangladesh after the LDC graduation.

The British government has announced a new scheme named “Developing Countries Trading Scheme” in place of the existing GSP. According to the new scheme, 98 percent of Bangladesh’s products will be eligible for the duty benefit after LDC graduation.

The British High Commissioner spoke on different issues and answered various questions from stakeholders including political leaders, business leaders, economists, academia and journalists at a program titled “Meet the Ambassador” organized by the Centre for Governance Studies (CGS) in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Bangladesh in Dhaka on August 22.

Shahidullah Azim said the UK is the 3rd largest export destination for Bangladesh’s RMG with exports of 4.49 billion dollars in the last fiscal year 2021-2022, and the bilateral economic relationship between the two countries has been growing significantly over the past decades.

“As we are preparing for the next growth phase of our industry, we have set priorities to enhance our business capabilities, particularly in the areas of diversification of products, investment in high-end textile sectors through innovation, value-addition, and upgrading technologies,” he added.

He expressed thanks to the British government for the new scheme, saying that it would support Bangladesh in enhancing trade significantly.

He hoped that the friendly support of the British government for the development of Bangladesh would continue in the coming years.

Dr. Manjur A Chowdhury, Chairman, Zillur Rahman, Executive Director of the Centre for Governance Studies and Shadhan Kumar Das, Program Co-coordinator of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Bangladesh, among others, were present at the program.