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Increasing the Market Access for Agricultural Products from Bangladesh to the EU

  • Jorge Nufiez Ferrer
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    This paper analyses the present developments and future prospects for increased agricultural trade for Bangladesh with the EU. The trade relationship with the European Union (EU) is seeing important changes in recent years. The EU has unilaterally eliminated in 2001 tariff barriers for products originating in Less Developed Countries through the Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement, which includes the highly protected agricultural products. This creates important export opportunities for Bangladesh. The paper analyses in detail the export trends for major agricultural products from Bangladesh and other countries in the region to look for any evidence of an impact from the EBA. Despite the short period analysed, there are indications of some positive impacts. However, these are often rather weak and at times there are none where expected. Analysing the trends of regional competitors, the paper implies that even with EBA Bangladesh lacks price competitiveness in some products, and most importantly a lack of marketing strategy directed towards EU consumers. For the future, the impact of the EBA will also depend on a number of other factors, such as any progress in the farm liberalisation negotiations at WTO, amendments in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary rules and the reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. All of these factors have the potential to erode the benefits of the EBA considerably. The paper also addresses some important strategic aspects to improve import opportunities, from marketing to taking advantage of the trade related assistance offered by the EU to the less developed countries.

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    Paper provided by Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in its series CPD Working Paper with number 58.

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    Length: 58 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pdb:opaper:58
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    1. M. Ataman Aksoy & John C. Beghin, 2005. "Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7464.
    2. Debapriya Bhattacharya & Mustafizur Rahman & Ananya Raihan, 2004. "The Eu-Eba Initiative: Market Access Implications And Potential Benefits For Bangladesh," CPD Working Paper 43, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
    3. Brenton, Paul, 2003. "Integrating the least developed countries into the world trading system : the current impact of EU preferences under everything but arms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3018, The World Bank.
    4. Wolfe, Robert, 2003. "Regulatory transparency, developing countries and the WTO," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 157-182, July.
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