Call on Bangladesh to diversify export basket, be more competitive after UN nod for LDC exit

Bangladesh should prioritise competitiveness and diversification of exportable products as the country has received the UN recommendation for elevation from a least developed nation to a developing one, analysts say.

After the formal graduation, Bangladesh will lose the benefits enjoyed by the LDCs, such as soft loans and export facilities. It can, however, enjoy those benefits during the five-year preparatory period.

Under the current rules, Bangladesh will enjoy duty-free access to the European Union market for three more years after 2026.

Speaking to bdnews24.com on Saturday, researcher Ahsan H Mansur said the government should now pay more attention to bilateral free trade agreements and ditch protectionist policies.

Ahsan H Mansur

KAS Murshid

“We must increase competitiveness as much as possible, and address issues in exchange rate, ports and transport sector. It is the government’s duty to ensure an environment conducive to business and create market access in order to boost export,” said the executive director of Policy Research Institute.

KAS Murshid, director general at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies or BIDS, emphasised diversification of products and increase in the capability by becoming less dependent on readymade garment industry for export.

“I don't think RMG is the only force in our economy. We have many other promising sectors. The Bangladeshi exporters have the capability to overcome temporary issues in the market,” he said and hoped the government will help the industries with policy assistance.

Bangladesh will also need to continue infrastructural, skill and technological development to get the most of the developing nation status, he added.

He also said good governance is a must now.

“We might have advanced much without good governance, but it cannot continue like this forever,” he said.

He strongly suggested reforms to the regulatory bodies. “Otherwise, danger awaits us,” he said.