Bangladesh Has Taken the Initiative to Join the RCEP 

Bangladesh Has Taken the Initiative to Join the RCEP 

Bangladesh is joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in order to retain duty benefits once it secures its position in the United Nations status graduation from being a least developed country to a developing one in 2026.

RCEP was initiated by China as a free trade agreement between itself, the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, and Australia, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

If the political agreement is reached within the country and if the terms and conditions of the RCEP allow the inclusion of a new member, Bangladesh will soon send a formal letter expressing interest in joining the trade bloc. Bangladesh will benefit from signing the agreement with RCEP as it enters the global value chain. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the GDP of RCEP member states will reach nearly $250 trillion by 2050.

Bangladesh is lobbying for free trade agreements, comprehensive economic partnerships, and preferential trade deals with major trading partners and economic blocs. It has been emphasized to preserve duty benefits for the local exporters because they will incur duty benefits ranging from 8 percent to 12 percent upon status graduation. And the country may lose $7 billion worth of exports in a year because of the erosion of preferential duty benefits for the LDC graduation, according to different studies.

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