Readymade garments manufactured in Bangladesh may get duty-free access to Indonesian market, as the Southeast Asian country is preparing to consider extending a Duty-Free, Quota-Free (DFQF) facility to nations that are counted among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The present list of LDCs includes 33 countries from Africa, Haiti from the Americas, and 14 countries from the Asia-Pacific region, including apparel exporting countries of Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Cambodia and Myanmar would form part of Asean Economic Community (AEC), scheduled to come into effect in 2015, and hence, they would not get any additional benefit if Indonesia decides to give DFQF access to LDCs. But, Bangladesh being a leading clothing manufacturer and exporter, and a LDC country, would benefit from the decision, once it is implemented.
Indonesia’s Minister of Trade, Gita Wirjawan, has said that Indonesia is prepared to consider extending a DFQF treatment to LDCs, as part of the agreement of the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration.
“As an ‘emerging economy’, Indonesia certainly would like to see LDCs play a more important role in international trade so that they may step out of the cycle of poverty and political-security crisis,” the Minister said in a statement.
“In accordance to the 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference and emphasized by the 2005 Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, and in line with the spirit of the G20, we are considering extending DFQF market access in a scope that is still to be discussed together with related ministries with our national interest in mind,” the Minister added.
According to the Minister, several commodities that Indonesia imports from LDCs either because they are not produced in the country or because the national production is insufficient to meet the domestic demand would be certainly taken into consideration for DFQF package.
The Minister said the DFQF facility to LDCs is being considered in the context of the preparation heading towards the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali in December 2013. “Indonesia’s readiness to consider extending DFQF market access is expected to strengthen the momentum of the success of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali,” Mr. Wirjawan said.
In 12 months ending June, 2012, Indonesia imported goods worth US$ 25.24 million from Bangladesh, which included apparels, especially knitwear and specialized textiles.