As per Zaidi Sattar, Chairman, Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI), the apparel sector in Bangladesh witnessed fastest growth compared to all other labour-intensive sectors as it creates a free trade channel for exports. Sattar was speaking at a conference styled “Bangladesh-Leveraging Growth Opportunities in the Neighbourhood”. The conference was jointly organised by PRI and the World Bank. According to Sattar, Bangladesh has comparative advantage in many other labour-intensive sectors, but the sectors were weighed down by tariff and non-tariff barriers. On the other hand, the government has been giving benefits in the form of tariffs on imports and subsidies on exports to the garment sector for quite some time.
Wahiduddin Mahmud, a noted economist, recommended developing a tax system for five years, which would be of great help to entrepreneurs. He also informed that the government is developing a business-friendly environment with a view to accelerating trade and investment.
Sanjay Kathuria, lead economist of the WB’s Dhaka office advised industry leaders to have deep engagement with regional and global markets to move to higher income brackets, as it will provide access to deep and elastic markets, technology, foreign direct investment and intra-firm trade.