Assistance from the development partners may shrink once Bangladesh graduates from the LDCs
Bangladesh will experience a squeeze in international trade after graduating from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) category, and promptly facing that pressure remains a big challenge, said Policy Research Institute (PRI) Research Director Dr Mohammad A Razzaque.
"We will have less options then in formulating the export policy. Moreover, development assistance may shrink once we graduate from the LDCs," he added.
Addressing a workshop in Dhaka on Thursday, Dr Razzaque suggested taking up necessary steps beforehand to tackle these challenges.
"Bangladesh is currently enjoying a zero duty facility on exports. But we will have to count 2.5 to 20 percent export duty after the graduation in 2024," he said at the workshop on macroeconomics and LDC graduation at the Economic Reporters Forum auditorium.
The Economic Reporters Forum and Policy Research Institute jointly organised the event.
Dr Razzaque further said, "The European Union is the largest destination for Bangladeshi products and we will get hurt seriously because of the Brexit. Earlier, a Bangladeshi export product could easily travel from an EU country to another, but Brexit will hamper this process.
"Bangladesh will no longer be able to change import-export policies once it graduates from the LDC club. The country will have to comply with the World Trade Organization's policy even if it hurts. Export subsidy will also be not allowed anymore."
PRI Executive Director Dr Ahsan H Mansur said, "The revenue collection target is getting bigger every year while the collection is just the opposite. Initiative to install digital machines at district level has also failed. No theory seems to be working here."
He commented that Bangladesh's dreams to become a developed nation will not be fulfilled unless these issues are settled first.
"Lowering the bank interest rates is not logical," the PRI executive director said while replying to a query, adding, "Implementation of the single digit rates will result in disastrous outcomes in the economy soon.
"The SMEs will get abandoned as the operating cost for loans to the sector is high. The banks will not give loans to the SMEs anymore. Defaulted loans, inflation and poor export-import scenario are pushing the economy towards a substantial disaster."
PRI Chairman Dr Zaidi Sattar and Economic Reporters Forum General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam spoke on the occasion among many others.