Dhaka: Beginning on Thursday, China will provide duty-free entry to major Bangladeshi products with an aim to offset the annual trade gap of USD 2.5 billion.
The new arrangement follows top level parleys. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to Beijing and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping was here last month when a series of pacts were signed.
China is Bangladesh`s largest trading partner and the biggest supplier of military hardware.
Dhaka expects that the country`s major exportable items such as garments, frozen food, jute and leather would be included in the Chinese duty-free list of 4,721 items, New Age newspaper said on Thursday.
The offer is almost similar to the European Union trade facility under "Everything But Arms" policy that helped Bangladeshi products to enjoy duty-free access to 27 EU nations.
`Made in Bangladesh` products would enjoy the facility as China has already listed Bangladesh and some 32 developing countries across the world for duty-free access from July 01 in keeping with its commitment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
"It`s a big opportunity for the exporters and good news for the country`s exports," said Mostafa Abed Khan of Bangladesh Tariff Commission.