With the expiry of multi-fibre arrangement (MFA) by the end of 2004, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules will be applied in international trading. It means the quota system that ensures a certain level of export for Bangladesh will also go.
Bangladesh and other least developed countries (LDCs) have requested the EC to provide them with 30 per cent quota facility for readymade garments, rice, sugar and some other low technology based export items. Bangladesh feels that without the quota system, Bangladeshi exports will be severely hit by countries like China, India and Mexico. Currently Bangladesh heavily depends on import of raw materials. So this will put Bangladesh in a disadvantageous position.
The European Commission (EC) has assured Bangladesh of considering a proposal to provide the country with an alternative quota system in the quota-free regime beyond 2004.
(via The Daily Star)