Vietnam securing a zero tariff trade agreement with the European Union will be a challenge for Bangladeshi exporters, said Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Chairman Tapan Kanti Ghosh on Wednesday.
He said 37 products exported from Bangladesh are getting cash incentives, but this is not a long-term facility.
"We are assisting the entrepreneurs who are making these products so that they can do better in business, create jobs and increase exports," said Tapan.
He was addressing a seminar as the chief guest at the Bangabandhu conference hall of the World Trade Centre in Chattogram's Agrabad area.
The tariff commission and the Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly arranged the seminar.
Vietnam is our big competitor in the readymade garment sector, Tapan said.
He said Bangladesh needs skilled manpower to increase export earnings like Vietnam and South Korea.
"Doing business should be made easier. Security and certainty should be provided for foreign investors. A variety of products, including light engineering products, should be produced instead of hinging on the clothing sector," Tapan explained.
He described international trade as an arena of brutal competition where valid documents and transparency need to be ensured.
"Foreigners can come and check our documents. One needs to focus on certifications, human rights and labour rights to do global trade."
Tapan said the tariff commission is taking research-based steps to create jobs, increase export earnings and develop local industries in the light of government policies.
He also discussed backward linkage, reducing lead time and cost of doing business.
M Fakhrul Alam, commissioner of Chattogram Customs House, said government offices are trying to protect the interests of local industries.
"Tariff rate is based on SRO, tariff schedule and other duty structures," he said. We maintain transparency and extend maximum facilities to importers," he said.
Mahbubul Alam, president of the Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said there would be no jobs without local industries.
"Many entrepreneurs do not know that the tariff commission makes recommendations to the National Board of Revenue and to the Ministry of Commerce.
"That is why entrepreneurs should go to the tariff commission," he added.
Mahbubul Alam presided over the seminar and tariff commission member Shah Md Abu Raihan Alberuni moderated it.