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Bangladesh exports to Turkey, once a promising market, set to fall for 4th yr

Country’s export earnings from Turkey has continued to decline since 2013-14 fiscal due to supplementary duty barrier on apparel products imposed by Turkey as safeguards to its local industry.
Bangladesh’s export to Turkey in the first 10 months of the current 2017-18 fiscal fell by 19.35 per cent to $448.93 million from $556.66 million in the same period of FY17, according to Export Promotion Bureau data.
EPB officials said 10-month export data indicate that Bangladesh’s earnings from Turkey would fall for the fourth year in the current fiscal year as the total earning in FY18 would be much lower than that of $631.63 million in FY17.
Exporters said that Bangladesh had lost its competitiveness in the Turkey market as the country imposed safeguard duty on apparel imports in 2011. Turkey was a very promising market for Bangladesh and only government initiatives could help regain the potentials of that market, they said.
Despite initial safeguard duty, exports to Turkey continued to grow until 2013-14 fiscal when the country increased the rate of safeguard duty, resulting in the decline in FY15, said Shahidul Azim, former vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
‘Turkey was a very good market for Bangladesh. A good quantity of apparels used to be re-exported to Russia from Turkey. Now they have stopped imports of almost all types of apparels to protect their local industry,’ Shahidul said.
Turkey imposed the safeguard duty at a rate of 17 per cent in September 2011 on apparel imports from the least developed countries, including Bangladesh.
Following the imposition of safeguard duty, exports to Turkey declined by 24.23 per cent to $551.87 million in the FY12 from $724.45 million in the FY11, while the export in the FY13, rose by 15.57 per cent to $637.81 million. Country’s export to Turkey in the FY14 grew by 34.23 per cent to $856.19 million.
According to EPB data, export earnings from Turkey in the FY15 fell by 15.80 per cent to $720.88 million from $856.19 million in the FY 14.
Data showed that export earnings from Turkey declined by 8.18 per cent to $661.88 million in the FY16 while the earnings fell by 4.57 per cent to $631.63 million in the FY17.
‘I attended the hearing on safeguard duty on importing apparels from least developed countries, including Bangladesh, held at Istanbul. Later on, Bangladesh’s exporters started losing their competitiveness in the market,’ said Mohammad Hatem, vice-president of the Exporters Association of Bangladesh.
He said that it would not be possible for Bangladesh to regain the market share in Turkey if the governments of the two countries did not sign any agreement in this regard.
Turkey is also a major readymade garment producing country and a competitor of Bangladesh on the global market with around $17 billion annual clothing export and nearly $10 billion textile export.