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					Zero-tariff treatment to exports to China
BD to propose reduction in rate of value addition

Syful Islam

Dhaka will propose to set the provision of adding value at 30 per cent as Beijing has moved to
replace the preferential treatment it offers to exports from Bangladesh under the Asia-Pacific
Trade Agreement (APTA) with zero tariff treatment.

Presently, Bangladeshi exports enjoy tariff preference in Chinese market by adding 35 per cent
value under APTA. If the zero tariff treatment replaces APTA, Bangladeshi products will have to
add 40 per cent value or change the tariff-heading of products to avail tariff preference in China.

"We think China should reduce the size of value addition as they are going to change tariff
preference. We will propose China to set it at 30 per cent," commerce secretary Ghulam Hossain
told the FE on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) convened a meeting on Tuesday to have a decision as China
recently sought Bangladesh's opinion on changing tariff preference on urgent basis.

In a letter to the MoC, the commercial councillor of the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka, Wang
Zijian, wrote that the tariff lines under the zero-tariff treatment would cover all preferential
tariffs Bangladesh can enjoy under the APTA.

"In order to avoid confusion over two different rules of origin under the APTA and the zero-
tariff treatment, the Chinese government would propose replacement of the APTA preferential
tariff treatment with the zero-tariff treatment for Bangladesh," he added.

Zijian also wrote that the Chinese government would increase the zero tariff treatment on
Bangladesh's exports to China from the existing 60 per cent to 95 per cent in 2013 to promote
and further strengthen the economic and trade relations between the two countries.

China has announced the zero-tariff facility

to 95 per cent products of the least developed countries (LDCs) in July 2010 which will come
into effect by 2013. The world's second largest economy is also committed to raise the facility to
97 per cent as per the Hong Kong declaration under the Doha round of the World Trade
Organisation (WTO).

According to the EPB statistics, Bangladesh exported goods worth $319 million to China and
imported goods worth $5.918 billion from that country in fiscal year (FY) 2010-11. In the FY
2009-10, Bangladesh's exports to China were worth $178 million and imports $3.819 billion.

Statistics also show that in FY 2010-11, some 237 Bangladeshi products enjoyed the zero-tariff
treatment while some 232 products enjoyed the same facility during the July-March period of the
FY 2011-12 in Chinese market.

The top ten products that Bangladesh exports to China are raw jute, jute yarn, pet bottles, T-shirt
and trousers, textile materials, sesame seeds, polyvinyl chloride waste and scrap, hides and skins
of bovine animals and objective camera lenses.


Source : Financial Express . August 15,2012

				
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