Publication: Consolidating and Accelerating Exports in Bangladesh : A Policy Agenda

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World Bank
For Bangladesh to become a middle-income country, growth in exports needs to accelerate exports of basic garments will continue to be important in the near future, but Bangladesh's competitive advantage in this area could erode over time. As such, looking ahead, accelerating exports will require not only consolidating existing strengths in basic garments but diversifying gradually into other products such as higher value garment and service exports. Forward-looking policymaking requires that measures be put in place now to encourage such diversification in future, while building on existing strengths. How can Bangladesh make this happen? Available research shows that the infrastructure deficit, especially energy, as well as lack of appropriate skills and the weak regulatory environment continue to hinder exports from Bangladesh. These weaknesses still persist. To complement work done so far, this report focuses on the role of trade logistics, skills and compliance with labor standards in consolidating existing strengths and moving to higher value products, using the garment sector as a lens. In addition, given the growing importance of services in world trade, the report also examines prospects for diversifying into a 'reach sector' such as Information technology (IT)-enabled services that can provide high-quality jobs. This report supports the knowledge agenda of the World Bank, which goes hand in hand with its lending role. Indeed, such knowledge is critical for better and more effective lending approaches, and for supporting the Bank's policy dialogue with Government. The report forms part of the growth and trade work program being undertaken by Bangladesh's poverty reduction and economic management team.
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World Bank. 2012. Consolidating and Accelerating Exports in Bangladesh : A Policy Agenda. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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