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29th April 2011, Dhaka

Turkey puts safeguard duty on Bangladeshi apparel

Bangladeshi knitwear exporters will be affected by Turkey's imposition of a 17% sfaeguard duty

According to local media reports yesterday, Turkey has put a provisional 17% safeguard duty on the import of apparel products from the least developed countries (LDCs), including Bangladesh. The measure which includes knitwear and other knitted garments, is aimed at protecting Turkey’s domestic garment manufacturers.

The tariff imposition was announced at the end of March and the proposed duty is set to come into effect from 21 July 2011. Bangladesh sells nearly $1.0 billion worth of apparel to Turkey annually.

The decision will temporarily affect apparel exports to Turkey from Bangladesh which now enjoys zero duty status as a least developed country (LDC), officials and exporters told The Financial Express (FE) yesterday.

According to the FE report, the present tariff increase, approved by the Turkish government, is 10% lower than the proposed tariff increase in January when it unveiled a plan to impose a 27% safeguard duty on the import of apparel products from the LDCs, including Bangladesh.

Turkey also proposed a hike in duty rates for apparel imports from the developing and other countries to 37% and 40% respectively. However, these rates have also been brought down by 10% each, the report said.

The 10% lower duty measure came after a six-member delegation of the Bangladesh government and private sector representatives, headed by commerce secretary M Ghulam Hossain, attended a bilateral hearing in Ankara on 7-8 March, Tariff Commission Chairman Mujibur Rahman told the FE.

“The government is trying to handle the issue bilaterally, diplomatically and politically. The issue will be raised during the Prime Minister's upcoming visit to Turkey early next month”, he said.

"If Turkey sticks to its decision, we will go to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to keep Bangladesh out from the measure," Mr Rahman said.

Echoing Mr Rahman, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said, "A positive result in this regard may come after the PM's visit to Turkey."

“The recent Turkish decision to ratify the provisional anti-dumping duty will affect the Bangladesh apparel industry, as export to Turkey will decline temporarily”, said Mohammad Hatem, vice president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).


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