According to a new report of World Bank, Bangladesh has attained such potential that it can increase its trade with the South Asian countries twice than before. The report also says that the increase in trade will create more jobs for people of the country. If the manmade trade barriers can be amputated by a moderate margin, the growth of the trade will jump from 23 billion US dollar to 67 billion US dollar.
Under the title of ‘A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia’ was published on Wednesday. The research report of the World Bank has identified four critical barriers to regional trade. Those are tariffs and para tariffs, real and perceived nontariff barriers, connectivity costs, and a broader trust deficit.
The trade relations among the South Asian countries have failed to reach to its mark. It is only five percent, which is one of the lowest in the world. Trade of Bangladesh with other South Asians counties is only nine percent of its global trade.
“Bangladesh can become an economic powerhouse by deepening regional and global integration in trade, connectivity, energy and investment,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
The costs of trade are much higher within South Asia compared with other regions: the average tariff in South Asia is more than double the world average.
South Asian countries have greater protection for imports from within the region than from the rest of the world.
Countries impose high para tariffs, and more than one-third of the intraregional trade falls under sensitive lists, comprising goods not included under South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA)’s tariff liberalization.
In the case of Bangladesh, nearly 46 percent of its imports from South Asia fall under sensitive lists.