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Tariff protection and export diversification are not mutually exclusive: The Bangladesh phenomenon.

BIDS organized a seminar titled "Tariff protection and export diversification are not mutually exclusive: The Bangladesh phenomenon." The event was held on 13 September, 2023, at BIDS conference room. The seminar started at 2.30 pm and ended at 5.30 pm. Dr. Zaidi Sattar, chairman of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (P.R.I.), presented a paper at the seminar. Dr. Binayak Sen, Director General, BIDS, chaired the event. Salehuddin Ahmed, former governor of the Bangladesh Bank, and Ferdaus Ara Begum, chief executive officer of the Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), joined the event via Zoom online platform. 

In the presentation, Dr. Zaidi Sattar mentioned that Bangladesh's nominal tariff is 27.6%, whereas it is 22.4% in Sri Lanka, 18.1% in India, 9.7% in Thailand, 9.6% in Vietnam, 5.6% in Malaysia, and 8% in Indonesia. He also mentioned that tariffs are now the principal instrument of protection and incentive to import-substitute production.

Dr. Zaidi Sattar said that Bangladesh exports 346 non-RMG products; these generate approximately $1 million in annual revenue for the country. He pointed out that these sectors do not have access to bonded warehouse facilities. So, if they are brought under related warehouse facilities, these products can significantly enhance export diversification.

Lastly, Dr. Sattar stated that the National Tariff Policy 2023 has taken a bold stand on several contentious issues in the political economy arena, some of which are unique to the context of Bangladesh.

Meeting recording link here

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