BD products likely to get duty-free access to EAEU countries

06 Nov 2018, 08:58

NTV Online

Dhaka: Bangladeshi products are likely to get duty-free access to the five member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

Dhaka received such indication at the recently held maiden meeting of the Bangladesh-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on trade and other issues in Moscow, reports the UNB.    

Bangladeshi officials who attended the meeting said Moscow has showed a positive attitude towards a proposal placed by Dhaka to increase its export to Russia and other EAEU member countries. ‘But all depends on its persuasion and improvement of the quality of goods,’ said an official who attended the meeting.      

Official sources said during discussion on trade cooperation, the Bangladesh side proposed including goods from Chapters 30, 61, 62, 63 and 64 of Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in the list of goods originating from least developed countries which are eligible for tariff preferences during its importation into the territories of the EAEU countries.

In response to the proposal, Russia suggested that Bangladesh send its official request to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to increase its export to the member countries of the economic bloc.

A 16-member delegation from Bangladesh, headed by the Economic Relations Division secretary, attended the meeting held on October 22-24 in Moscow to discuss various issues, including boosting trade and cooperation in different sectors between the two nations.

The EAEU, officially launched in 2015, is a political and economic union of states located in central and northern Eurasia and its member countries are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

During the meeting, the Russian side informed the Bangladesh delegation that amendments to the list should be approved by the Council of the Eurasian Economic Council, which is possible only with the support of all member states of EAEU, said the sources.

The officials at the ERD said if Dhaka gets the approval, it will facilitate Bangladesh’s main export items like readymade garments, leather and ceramics to get duty-free access to the five EAEU member countries.

Since the establishment of the Eurasian Customs Union in 2010, trade between the EAEU member states rose sharply.

The available statistics show mutual trade was $ 63.1 billion in 2011, 33.9 percent more than in 2010. In 2012, mutual trade was $67.9 billion and combined exports reached $593.7 billion, while imports were $340.9 billion.

Officials said if Bangladesh gets the opportunity to export its goods to the EAEU countries, it will tremendously boost its export.       

According to official sources, the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation was formed in 2017 with the signing of a deal between Dhaka and Moscow on March 1 in 2017.    

As per the deal, the Intergovernmental Commission was formed comprising 20 members from each nation.

Two members from the private sector also joined the recent meeting of the commission. They are Habib Ullah Dawn from FBCCI and Aniruddha Kumar Roy, managing director of RMM Group, who represents Russian company Gazprom in Bangladesh.