Japan’s relaxed GSP rules for apparel hailed


Japan’s relaxed GSP rules for apparel hailed
Mashiur Rahaman

DHAKA, MAY 11: Export of apparel garments from Bangladesh to Japan has witnessed a significant boost in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, indicating that brighter days are ahead.

Knitwear and woven garments export was valued at US$ 59.93 million and $ 99.461 million respectively during the aforementioned time span, thereby crossing the total worth of exports that was done in 2009-10, according to the state compiled data.  To add to that Asian economic giant ‘Japan’ has further opened up its market for Bangladeshi garment makers by revising the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) rules of origin.

Japan is the biggest importer of Bangladeshi readymade garments in Asia, as per country-wise export performance data.

“We are optimistic and we welcome this move,” Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Secretary of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers’ and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said.

The new rule will create a fresh wave in export of Bangladeshi apparels to Japan, he said.

Export of apparels to Japan has witnessed a brisk growth in last couple of years. The rate of growth has been recorded at 133.02 per cent in FY2009-2010 and above 60 per cent during July-March of FY2010-2011. Apparel exports to Japan reached $173.32 million in FY2009-2010 whereas Japan’s total apparel import was worth $25.50 billion in 2009.

As per the revised declaration, the rules of origin for knitwear items (products under HS chapter 61) have been relaxed from three stages to two, that means knitwear products manufactured from imported yarn can now avail this benefit. The woven garments (products under HS chapter 62), can also avail the same benefit if one of the stage is completed locally, that means woven garments made of imported fabrics are eligible for this benefit. The revised rules have been effective since April 1, 2011.

Given our existing proximity to the Japanese market, coupled with incentive to explore the market further by the Bangladesh Government and the newly adopted trade rules by Japan, the situation has become very conducive for growth of bilateral trade, BGMEA secretary said.

Extending his thanks to the Bangladeshi Prime Minister for raising the issue of relaxation of rules with her Japanese counterpart during a visit to Japan in November 2010, he said that BGMEA and BKMEA together with the Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh actively pursued for the relaxation.

According to the data compiled by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Bangladeshi knitwear exporters earned $53.06 and $22.06 million from export to Japan in FY 2009-10 and FY 2008-09 respectively. On the other hand, woven makers earned $120.26 and $52.39 million during FY2009-10 and FY 2008-09 respectively.


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