China Woos Bangladesh, Provides Tariff Exemption for 97% of Exports from Dhaka

In a bid to woo Bangladesh, China has provided a huge trade boost to the country by announcing tariff exemption for 97% of Bangladeshi products effective from July 1.

The decision has come one month after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a discussion to upgrade their bilateral relations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh announced on Friday that 97% of items would be exempted of Chinese tariffs.

As part of the government's economic diplomacy and the outcome of exchange of letters between Bangladesh and China, Tariff Commission of the Chinese State Council issued a notice recently on granting zero treatment to 97% of tariff products of Bangladesh, the Dhaka Tribune reported, quoting the ministry's statement.

With this announcement, a total of 8,256 Bangladeshi products will come under the 97% of products that would be exempted from tariff.

Currently, 3095 Bangladeshi products enjoy duty-free access to Chinese market under Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA). With the new announcement, 97% of Bangladeshi products will join this zero-tariff club from July 1 that raised the numbers of Bangladeshi products with zero duty access to Chinese market to 8,256, the report said.

During the Asian-African Conference which took place this week in Indonesia, Chinese president Xi announced that China will grant duty free market access for Least Developed Countries (LDC) 97% of the tariff lines within a year. This beneficial market access scheme will be applied only for imports from LDCs that have diplomatic relations with China.

China's tariff exemption is expected to help Bangladesh cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.