Ahmed, Sadiq, and Zaidi Sattar, 2003, “Trade Liberalization, Growth, and Poverty Reduction: The Case of Bangladesh,” paper presented at the World Bank ABCDE Conference, Bangalore, July.
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The authors wish to thank, without implication, Peter Berezin, Nur Calika, Hans Peter Lankes, Olin Liu, Jeremy Mark, Will Martin, Caroyl Miller, Lynge Nielsen, Zaidi Sattar, Dean Spinanger, and Marijn Verhoeven for their helpful comments, and Ross Arnold, Vlad Manole, Abul Quasem, and Dustin Smith for their valuable assistance with data collection. Mary Jo Marquez provided excellent editorial support.
See Dean (2002) for a concise summary of how MFA quotas have affected trade patterns across exporting countries.
See the IMF Board paper “Market Access for Developing Country Exports—Selected Issues,” SM/02/280, http://www.imf.org/external/np/pdr/ma/2002/eng/092602.pdf.
In Bangladeshi usage, the term “RMG” covers items that are not necessarily garments (clothes), such as towels, napkins, etc. In this paper, the terms “T&C” and “RMG” are used interchangeably, unless the context demands otherwise.
Despite large imports, the country ran a trade surplus of US$2.8 billion in the combined textile and clothing sector.
AGOA provides exclusive quota- and duty-free market access for exports from eligible countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to USITC (2003), U.S. imports of textile and garments from AGOA-eligible countries have indeed increased rapidly since 2001. It is not clear, however, whether this has been at the expense of Bangladeshi exports.
Norway’s quotas have been removed for all exporting countries, while tariffs on exports from LDCs were eliminated in 2002.
If both a quota and tariff are imposed on a product, only one of them can be binding. If the quota is binding, the tariff simply allows the importing country to recoup some of the quota rent that would otherwise accrue to the exporting country and the entire preference margin for Bangladesh is the tariff equivalent of the quota. If the quota is not binding, the entire preference margin for Bangladesh is the level of the tariff.
Under the EU’s so-called “SAARC cumulation” rules, Bangladeshi products made with inputs from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region (including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) are eligible for preferential treatment under the EBA, if they meet the minimum value-added requirement.
The closure of land ports for textile imports from India in March 2002 has increased difficulties for the knitwear industry. This policy is supposed to limit smuggling, which the local textile industry claims to be a major impediment to its efficiency. The motivation for the policy is unclear.
See BNA, Inc., International Trade, Vol. 21, No. 12, March 18, 2004, p. 496.
For an explanation of how quota removal would affect unrestricted markets, see Yang and others (1997).
The Finger-Kreinin similarity index is defined as
Under the MFA and ATC, exporting countries are allowed some flexibility in using some of their base quotas in terms of the so-called carry-forward, carry-over, and swings (shifting a specified proportion of a quota category to another within the same year). Actual annual growth rates of quotas therefore may differ from base rates.
For the ease of exposition, it is assumed here that all exporting countries produce a homogeneous product. However, the story would be similar even if products are assumed to be differentiated by country of origin.
This assumes that the effects of the EBA have fully worked through before the quota removal in 2005. This conclusion also depends on the existence of barriers (e.g., rules of origin and infrastructure bottlenecks) that prevent costless re-direction of Bangladeshi exports from the U.S. to the EU market—otherwise, for a small country like Bangladesh, U.S. quotas would become redundant immediately after the introduction of the EBA. However, the prices of U.S. quotas on Bangladeshi exports should have been subject to downward pressure as long as the EBA has had the effect of easing barriers against Bangladeshi exports.
The demand elasticity depends importantly on the elasticity of substitution between exports from Bangladesh and its competitors.
Note that although these numbers are also computed at the quota level they are not comparable with those for the U.S. markets as product classifications differ. All results are based on data provided by the European Commission.
See Appendix Table A. 8 in World Bank (2004). These ETEs seem to be extraordinarily high, ranging from 82 percent to several hundred percent.
Data on Indian ETEs at the product level in the EU market are not available.
The similarity index failed to capture the potential export competition because binding quotas on one country raise exports from its competitors while reducing that country’s exports. The resulting low export similarity resembles the endogeneity problem of calculating trade-weighted average tariff.
Permission is usually given only for manufacturers that have at least one backward linkage. For a more detailed discussion of the FDI regime in Bangladesh, see Sattar (2000).
A buying house is an intermediary without its own retail operations.
Firms may be allowed to import up to four months’ needs if the proposed export complies with norms under the Import Policy Order, notably minimum value addition of 25 percent. This generally favors only large firms.
The rate has been progressively reduced from 25 percent in FY01, and is expected to be completely phased out by June 2006.
Estimates based on the impact of quota removal to date, performance in 10 key garment categories and discussions with industry leaders.
It is assumed in the model that quota rents accrue to the exporting country. There is some evidence, however, that quota rents are shared between the exporting and importing countries (Krishna and others, 1994).
At the margin, this is the unlimited labor supply model. Given the high unemployment rate and the vast pool of the underemployed in rural Bangladesh, this assumption is not unreasonable. Most existing studies tend to assume fixed labor supply, which may not accurately reflect the fact that layoffs are common, except in the public service sector. The numeraire of the model is the average global factor price.
The results reported are based on the average (8 percent) of the estimates of quota premiums in Bangladesh. See Appendix II for results on T&C exports for other countries/regions included in the model.
In the model products are differentiated by country of origin (the Armington assumption). There are two sets of elasticities of substitution: those between domestic products and imports and those between imports by country of origin (see Appendix Table A2 for the elasticity values).
Even within textile and clothing exports, the product range is limited: eighty percent of exports of knitwear products are men’s and boys’ shirts, and T-shirts, while 75 percent of woven products are men’s and boys’ shirts and trousers and women’s and girl’s trousers. While these products are not separately modeled, this concentration could bring additional vulnerability to external competition.
The long-term adverse effect of reduced investment on the balance of payments and growth is not captured here as investment does not affect the capital stock given the static nature of the model.
The United States has already reimposed quotas on three categories of textile imports from China in December 2003 and is reportedly trying to negotiate a more broadly based new quota system to forestall the expected rapid expansion of Chinese exports after 2004.
See Centre for Policy Dialogue (2003), for a discussion of the potential social impact of the quota removal.