Bangladesh is a moderate, secular and liberal democracy with immense potentials. It has earned global reputation in poverty alleviation, primary school enrollment, women empowerment, family planning, infant, under-five mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio reduction, lowering number of communicable diseases and child immunization. It has also made its mark in achieving comprehensive food security despite worldwide economic downturn. The greatest notable achievement of Bangladesh is undoubtedly its upgradation from Low Income Country to Lower Middle Income Country status as per the World Bank classification.
Bangladesh has been maintaining a steady GDP growth of more than six percent over the last decade. It has been possible due to government’s strong macro-economic fundamentals and prudent fiscal policy. Of late, the country has achieved 7.05 percent economic growth for the first time. Present per capita income of Bangladesh is US $1,466. Foreign exchange reserves have surpassed an all-time high mark of US $29 billion placing it next to India among the South Asian countries. Remittances sent by migrant workers reached US $15.31 billion in the Fiscal Year 2014-15. Consequently, Bangladesh is globally recognized as a role model of development.
Global banks and Multi-national institutions are highly optimistic about Bangladesh’s brilliant investment prospects. According to IHS Inc, a US based global information company, Bangladesh is placed among Asia Pacific’s top ten Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) hot spots. World Bank ranks Bangladesh 17th for investor protection. Goldman Sachs identifies Bangladesh as one of the ‘Next Eleven’ emerging economies, along with BRIC for its promising investment and future growth. JP Morgan Chase & Co. recognizes Bangladesh as one of the “Frontier Five” markets along with Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria and Vietnam. Standard and Poor (S & P) as well as Moody’s have rated Bangladesh second only to India in South Asia for credit worthiness.
Bangladesh offers one of the most liberal and investment friendly milieus in South Asia. The country has a unique geo-strategic position near India, China and ASEAN region. It also has a fast growing domestic market with approximately 165 million people within the age group of 25. Bangladesh possesses energetic, easily trainable low-cost workers suitable for any labor intensive industry. Majority of Bangladeshi products enjoy duty and quota-free access to EU, Japan, USA, Australia, and other developed countries. Labour and land costs are perhaps the lowest in Asia. Energy prices are most competitive in the region. Interests of foreign investors are well protected by the Foreign Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act, 1980 and bilateral agreements between Bangladesh and 28 other countries. Facilities include tax holiday for several years, duty free access for importing capital machinery, 100% foreign ownership with unrestricted exit policy, 100% profit repatriation, reinvestment of profit or dividend as FDI, multiple visa, work permit to foreign executives, Permanent resident permits on investing US$ 75,000 and citizenship on investing US$ 500,000. In addition, adequate protection of intellectual property rights, concessionary duty on the import of machinery and export subsidies are also available. For export oriented industries, duty free import of machinery and spare parts, bonded ware house facility, up to 90% bank loan against LC is available. Of late, 30 new Economic zones have been created to attract more foreign investments. A special economic zone has been allocated exclusively for Spanish investors. Current industrial policy offers special fiscal incentives in agriculture, food processing, ship building, renewable energy, tourism, ICT, apparels, pharmaceuticals and ceramics sector.
1.1 The word export is derived from the conceptual meaning as to ship the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an “exporter” who is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based is referred to as an “importer” (foreign buyer). In international trade “exports” refers to selling goods and services produced in home country to other foreign markets.
1.2 Bangladesh exports about 168 different products and services to almost 186 countries. The main exportable are Readymade Garments, Knitwear, Home Textile, Frozen Food, Leather & Leather goods, Jute and goods which contribute near about 89% of our total export. On the other hand the main export destination of Bangladesh are USA, Canada, EU Countries including U.K, Germany, France, Italy, Sweeten etc contributing almost 93% of total export. The export statistics reveals that Bangladesh is proceeding with positive export growth since 1974-75 . Anexxure-17 presents the export trend from the year1974-75 to 2010-11 as well as the export performance in July-June, 2011.
Bangladesh maintains excellent trade relations with foreign countries. Bangladesh became a member of World Trade Organization (WTO) from its inception. Bangladesh is also the member of South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), BIMSTEC and, Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Through those organizations and some times bilaterally Bangladesh enjoy preferential treatment on export trade. Of all those preferential treatments the most important one is Generalized System of Preference (GSP). In this system as an LDC, we get some preferential advantages including duty free or concession and quota free access. We are getting GSP in 37 Countries including 27 EU countries and 10 others like USA, Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland etc.