BANGLADESH'S TRADE BARRIERS IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE - A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS References: A. B. Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) Précis on Individual Joint Services Stuff Duties Manual 2003. INTRODUCTION
Research Paper, for DSCSC 2008- 2009 course.
“It is inconsistent to support a policy of low trade barriers. Either trade barriers are useful, then they cannot be high enough; or they are harmful, then they have to disappear completely.” - Ludwig von Mises, economist. 1. In most simplistic terms the Trade barrier/restrictiveness is a government’s
regulations that restrict the trade of one country with all other trading partner countries. Within today's global economy countries now trade more intensively and frequently than in
the past. Trade has become an increasingly important global economic activity, with annual trade volumes increasing sixteen fold over the last fifty years and the ratio of world exports to GDP now approaching twenty percent. With this recent acceleration of global trade, countries throughout the world have benefited from more investment, industrial development, employment and income growth. The benefits of trade can strongly contribute to the improvement of basic living standards. Therefore, many of the world's developing countries and countries with economies in transition have sought to actively participate in the global trading regime. For most of these countries, efficient and effective participation in the global economy has required substantial economic restructuring at home. Thus, in recent years, national governments have implemented structural adjustment programmes to stabilise and reorient their economies in order to face the challenges of development.i This included in the first instance the restructuring of economies to increase foreign exchange earnings through reduction of trade barriers i.e. trade liberalisation. 2. National experiences with structural adjustment programmes have been mixed.
Nevertheless, reduction of trade barriers and the resultant trade liberalisation elements of restructuring programmes have provided countries with a wide range of trade related benefits. This has been reflected in the rapid generation of increased domestic employment, income growth, and foreign exchange earnings. Trade liberalisation has also facilitated countries' increased imports of strategic goods and services, and attracted foreign direct investment, yielding enhanced technology transfer, the development of endogenous capacities, and the establishment of basic infrastructure needed to support national objectives for industrial development. Trade liberalisation may also indirectly benefit a nation's natural and environmental resource bases, as increased trade-related fiscal revenues can provide national governments with new financial resources to support environmental protection, conservation and remediation efforts. 3. Now the natural question that strikes our mind is that how far Bangladesh has
progressed in terms of reduction of trade barriers to reap the...