The United Kingdom (UK) on Tuesday launched the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), offering 65 developing countries, including Bangladesh, an easier market access to their market with reduced tariff rates and simpler terms of trade.
"Bangladeshi businesses will have easier access to UK markets under the new scheme," said British High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert Chatterton Dickson.
"Even after Bangladesh graduates from the least developed country (LDC) status in 2026, it will retain duty-free access to the UK for 98 per cent of its products, including ready-made garments."
Mr Dickson said the DCTS will harness the power of trade and the private sector to enable developing countries like Bangladesh to grow and prosper.
The UK is one of Bangladesh's biggest export markets with annual trade partnership worth over $4.0 billion.
"We look forward to increasing trade in both directions as an increasingly prosperous Bangladesh buys more high quality UK goods and services," he said in a communication, following the launching of the scheme.
The DCTS will be one of the most generous sets of trading preferences of any country in the world, helping to grow trade, boost jobs and drive economic growth, said a spokesperson at the British High Commission in Dhaka.
He said the new scheme will replace the UK's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) and will come into force in early 2023, the spokesperson added.
This new scheme demonstrates the UK's commitment to strengthening a longer-term and mutually beneficial economic relationship with Bangladesh, he added.
The DCTS will provide a clearer and streamlined trading arrangement for Bangladesh thanks to simplified and more flexible rules of origin, making it easier to produce goods using components from other countries without losing duty-free status.
Under the scheme, Bangladesh will continue to benefit from duty-free exports to the UK on everything but arms.
The DCTS contributes to developing countries' integration into the global economy, creating stronger trade and investment partners for the future.
It also reflects the UK's commitments on human rights and labour standards, incorporating powers to alter trade preferences in the event of serious human or labour rights violations.
The DCTS will also support the UK's obligation on anti-corruption, climate change and environment conventions.