Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Saturday said that with the country graduating from Least Developed Country status, Bangladesh needs a clear export strategy to attract investment.
"There will be inevitable changes in market access (following LDC graduation). We need to prepare a comprehensive National Export Strategy and align our trade policies accordingly to promote investments," he said.
The minister also noted that stakeholders must set a clear vision about the export basket for the next decade which should not concentrate only on one sector, said a press release.
"Over the last few years Bangladesh's apparel industry export market has diversified and tremendous progress has been achieved in terms of exploring new markets," said Tipu Munshi at a virtual discussion titled "Diversification of Bangladesh's Export Basket: Opportunities and Challenges," arranged by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).
However, he also emphasised seeking ways to mitigate the market caps Bangladesh will be facing soon following LDC graduation.
"We need to engage more proactively with our counterparts abroad to pursue duty free access in their markets, and we need to explore ways to retain market access in countries like India, Korea, Malaysia and China when we lose market access benefits as an LDC," he said.
The commerce Minister noted that the RMG sector must overcome dependence on imported fabrics and yarn. He also suggested targeting RMG related products for export.
"There are a few sectors which are similar to RMG or closely linked to RMG, which are highly potential areas for investment, and can replace a lot of imports. For example - recycled yarn, automotive upholstery, fashion accessories, travel & camping goods, plush toys, dyes & chemicals, garments and textile spare parts, etc," he added.
Former President of ICAB, Aziz H Khan, presided over the function and Shubhashish Basu, Chief Executive Officer of ICAB and former Senior Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce, presented the keynote address.
Commerce Ministry Senior Secretary Dr Md Zafar Uddin, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) Chairman Mostaq Hossain, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hasan, Leather Goods and Foot Wear Manufacturers and Exporters Association President and Ship Builders Association Vice President Saiful Islam, Bangladesh Handicraft Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Golam Ahsan, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) President Syed Almas Kabir, Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters Association President Maruf Hossain, Director, Bangladesh Agro-Processors Association Vice-president Saeed Md Sohrab Hasa, and ICAB Vice President Maria Hawladar spoke on the occasion.