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Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Bangladesh is open to foreign trade, which represents around 50% of the GDP. The country plays a role as a passageway in the core of India and its Eastern provinces. Customs duties in Bangladesh are relatively high; however, the country is implementing a series of measures including concessional tariffs, a customs duty recovery system and export processing zones, in order to reduce these barriers. Since 2011, the country benefits from more simplified procedures and regulations applied by the European Union in order to favor the products that come from the LDC countries (least developed countries). However, the country risks losing this advantage unless it improves the work conditions in the textile industry.

Since having become independent, Bangladesh has registers a trade deficit, financed by the international aid and the expatriate transfers. During the 2013-2014 the deficit increased by 48.5% (reading US$10.5b) because of a rise in imports, especially food imports. This trend should continue during the next following years.

The country's main trade export partners are the European Union, the United States and China. The main export products are clothes, unprocessed hessian and its derived products, leather, fish and frozen seafood. Bangladesh mainly imports machinery and equipment, chemical products, steel & metals, cement, food and oil derived products. Bangladesh imports most of its products from China, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20092010201120122013
Imports of Goods (million USD) 21,83327,82136,21434,16236,382
Exports of Goods (million USD) 15,08319,19424,43925,11329,114
Imports of Services (million USD) 3,2034,1224,9785,2306,107
Exports of Services (million USD) 9351,2031,3881,3071,863
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -3129111
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 0129132
Trade Balance (million USD) -4,600-6,889-8,370-6,510-6,373
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 4038474846
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2322272827
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 1716202020

Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank - Last Available Data.

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2011
United States 21.0%
Germany 15.6%
United Kingdom 9.5%
France 6.4%
Spain 4.4%
Canada 4.2%
Italy 4.1%
Netherlands 3.4%
Belgium 3.3%
Turkey 2.7%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2011
Thailand 22.8%
India 11.2%
China 8.8%
Indonesia 6.0%
Singapore 5.2%
Malaysia 4.5%
Brazil 3.2%
United States 3.0%
Japan 2.4%
Pakistan 2.3%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 

Main Products

- bn USD of products exported in 2011
T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted 19.9%
Men's or boys' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (excl. knitted or crocheted, wind-jackets and similar articles, separate waistcoats, track suits, ski suits and swimwear) 18.7%
Jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles, knitted or crocheted (excl. wadded waistcoats) 10.9%
Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (excl. knitted or crocheted, wind-jackets and similar articles, slips, petticoats and panties, track suits, ski suits and swimwear) 8.5%
Men's or boys' shirts (excl. knitted or crocheted, nightshirts, singlets and other vests) 7.0%
Men's or boys' shirts, knitted or crocheted (excl. nightshirts, t-shirts, singlets and other vests) 3.0%
Bed-linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen of all types of textile materials (excl. floor-cloths, polishing-cloths, dish-cloths and dusters) 2.7%
Crustaceans, fit for human consumption, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine, incl. crustaceans in shell cooked beforehand by steaming or by boiling in water; flours, meals and pellets of crustaceans, fit for human consumption 2.0%
Yarn of jute or of other textile bast fibres of heading 5303 2.0%
Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, knitted or crocheted (excl. wind-jackets and similar articles, slips, petticoats and panties, track suits, ski suits and swimwear) 1.8%
- bn USD of products imported in 2011
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 6.6%
Cotton, neither carded nor combed 5.8%
Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 5.8%
Woven fabrics of cotton, containing >= 85% cotton by weight and weighing <= 200 g/m² 3.6%
Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form 2.8%
Woven fabrics of cotton, containing >= 85% cotton by weight and weighing > 200 g/m² 2.7%
Cotton yarn other than sewing thread, containing >= 85% cotton by weight (excl. that put up for retail sale) 2.7%
Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 2.7%
Vessels and other floating structures for breaking up 2.6%
Wheat and meslin 2.4%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 
 
 

Main Services

- bn USD of services exported in 2012
Government services
42.64%
Transportation
16.18%
Communications services
14.11%
Other business services
14.03%
Travel
4.52%
Computer and information services
3.57%
Financial services
2.62%
Construction services
1.72%
Insurance services
0.47%
Cultural and recreational services
0.09%
Royalties and license fees
0.04%
- bn USD of services imported in 2012
Transportation
80.05%
Other business services
6.83%
Travel
6.20%
Government services
2.68%
Financial services
2.20%
Insurance services
0.69%
Communications services
0.53%
Construction services
0.28%
Royalties and license fees
0.22%
Computer and information services
0.20%
Cultural and recreational services
0.10%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Main International Economic Cooperation
Member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), as well as of the preferential trade agreements (SAPTA) and Free Trade Area (SAFTA) associated with the Association.
Member of the Group of 8 Developing Countries (
G-8).
Member of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (
BIMSTEC).
Member of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (
APTA).
Useful Resources
Bangladesh Customs
National Organization of Intellectual Property
You can contact the Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT) by email at: registrar@dpdt.gov.bd or registrardpdt@yahoo.com, or the Copyright Office of Bangladesh.
 
 
 

 

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Last Updates: February 2015