It will take some more time to obtain the benefits of open accounts for transactions in exports as Bangladesh is still in a learning stage.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bank will extend its cooperation in addressing the challenges of open accounts.
Such observations were made by speakers at a webinar, "Global Awareness on Open Account Export Transactions and Recent Policy Changes in Bangladesh", jointly organised on Friday by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The webinar was attended by top officials of several private banks, businessmen, the central bank executive director and foreign speakers. The participants highlighted the challenges and possibilities of open account transactions in exports.
Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Humayun Kabir, who was the chief guest at the webinar, said the Bangladesh Bank had issued a circular related to open accounts for export transactions in June this year so that Covid-19 could not affect the country's international trade.
"We need to address the risks in such accounts and move forward on the basis of the needs of exporters and foreign importers," he said, adding that the Bangladesh Bank welcomes any new initiative in the interest of progress in trade.
As per a presentation at the webinar, almost all types of import-export transactions in Bangladesh are done through Letters of Credit while only about 1% of them are carried out through open accounts.
Such transactions are gaining importance in trade in the fastest time, and Bangladesh also needs to utilise this opportunity, as suggested in the presentation.
Taking this opportunity will close the trade gap as well as increase economic growth and create more employment opportunities, according to the speakers.
However, the discussants opined there should be a code of conduct under the International Chamber of Commerce to deal with the risks.
Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia, said Bangladesh has gained the confidence of foreigners in international trade.
"Despite having such a reputation, no one has rewarded us internationally in this regard yet," he added.
Also present at the discussion were ICC Bangladesh Vice President Rokia Afzal Rahman, Islami Bank Managing Director Mahbubul Alam, Mutual Trust Bank Managing Director Syed Mahbubur Rahman, HSBC Bangladesh's top official Mahbubur Rahman and others.
The webinar was moderated by Vincent O'Brien, member of the Executive Board, ICC Banking Commission, Paris, and Director, ICC United Arab Emirates.
An open account transaction is a sale where goods are shipped and delivered before payment is due. Obviously, this option is the most advantageous for importers in terms of cash flow and cost, but it is consequently the highest risk option for exporters.