The extension of duty-free treatment to 98% of tariff lines will help Bangladesh to further increase its exports to China, the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka said Tuesday.

A tariff line is World Trade Organization-jargon for a product as defined in lists of tariff rates.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his recent visit to Bangladesh, announced that the duty-free treatment of 98% of goods in the different tariff lines originating from Bangladesh will take into effect on September 1.

This will further help to boost Bangladesh's export to China, said the Embassy. But what if the new products added to the list find no demand in China? That is why some perusal of the new tariff lines, and just how many the 1% rise represents, is important.

China had been providing duty-free facility to 97 percent of Bangladeshi products, including all garment products, since July 1, 2021. We now know that 383 new products, including leather items, have been added to the list now, thereby expanding the benefit to 98 percent of the products.

Here the Chinese side are keen to point to the addition of leather products from Bangladesh that will now enjoy duty free access to the huge Chinese market. Several kinds of basic leather products added into the 98% zero-tariff lines are "good news" to Bangladeshi exporters in the leather industry, which the Chinese have been really playing up as an industry with huge potential in Bangladesh..

Businessmen in the leather industry have already been focusing on the opportunity provided by the duty-free treatment, according to the Chinese Embassy.

Programs are even underway to facilitate Chinese manufacturing enterprises related to leather products to form business relations with Bangladesh's leather exporters, it said.

Bangladesh has many high-quality agricultural, livestock and fishery products too, many of which have been added to the list.

For example, China said, the national fish of Bangladesh, the hilsa, is among both the 97% and the 98% zero tariff lines, and has already acquired the inspection and quarantine access to the Chinese market.

Bangladesh's mango, jackfruit, guave, honey, and beef are all listed as duty free products in both the 97% and the 98% tariff lines.

Varied by different categories of tariff lines, compared with duty-free treatment on 97% tariff lines, there are several hundred products now added to the list in getting to the 98%,

Some of these are agricultural products, crude oil of groundnut, crude cotton-seed oil, liquid crystal display panel, paper product, saloon cars and chemicals, are all included, said the Chinese Embassy.

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