Of the 15 countries participating in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, Japan and China are two most important markets for Bangladesh's exports. China has already provided duty-free access to 97% of our products. Bangladesh is also getting a duty-free export facility under the Generalised System of Preferences facility in Japan.
We import most products from China. Also, Bangladesh's understanding with Japan is much better. Work is also underway to sign a free trade agreement with Japan.
I do not think the RCEP signed in Singapore on Sunday with the China-led Asean alliance will have much impact on Bangladesh's export trade. The agreement includes Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia – three exporters of ready-made garments. As a whole, an analysis of the agreement will show whether it will have any impact on Bangladesh.
If any problem arises for Bangladesh due to this agreement, we will take initiatives to solve it through discussion. Hopefully, there will be no problem.
Tipu Munshi, commerce minister, gave his opinions to Abul Kashem over the phone.