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THE ongoing trade war between the US and China has created a better opportunity for Bangladesh, especially for garment sectors. The exporters have been receiving a greater number of work orders from both China and the US.

The current trade war has opened an opportune moment for us (Bangladesh) as China also announced tariff cuts on goods imports from the country. So, many buyers are coming back to Bangladesh and the country's share in the American garment market increased 6.46 per cent in the first nine months of 2018. The trade war though enables economic hardship for Chinese businesses; it has brought an ideal situation for Bangladesh that needs to be explored brilliantly.

Other than the inflow of work orders for apparel items for competitive pricing, Bangladesh will also get benefit in its cotton import from the US. At present stage, China has stopped buying cotton worth over $1 billion per year from the US. China has also stopped sourcing the white fibre to subsidise its domestic growers and to end the previous stocks. So, Bangladesh is now the largest cotton importer from the US.

Already the cotton price fell 10 per cent year-on-year in the October-November period due to oversupply. Bangladesh will also receive a lot of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as the owners of the Chinese Sunset Industries are looking for new destinations as production costs in China rose due to higher tariff measures by the US and the shortage of skilled workforce.

Trade data revealed that the global foreign direct investment flows fell 23 per cent to $1.43 trillion to Bangladesh in 2017. China may relocate some industries to other Asian countries and Bangladesh should chase this lead. Apart from garment products, there are many items where Bangladeshi businessmen and industrialists could find a golden future. Market leaders said the 4th industrial revolution is ahead of us, so we need to focus on manufacturing robotics, computer software and heavy machinery. In that case, the public and private sectors will have to work hand-in-hand to get the benefit of the economic breakthrough. 

We think, Bangladesh should avail this opportunity very intelligently. The ongoing trade war may not sustain for a long time, so only cautious steps can protect our interest. The government should take preparation to embrace the high web of the revolution. 

Source : The Daily New Nation

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