Bangladesh flag Bangladesh: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Bangladesh

Foreign Trade in Figures

Trade represented 30.5% of Bangladeshi GDP in 2020 (World Bank, 2022). The main export products are clothes, raw jute and its derived products, leather, fish and frozen seafood. Bangladesh mainly imports machinery and equipment, chemical products, steel & metals, cement, food and oil derived products (OEC).

The country's main export partners are the European Union, the United States and China. Bangladesh imports mainly from China (22% of all imports) , India (13%) , Singapore (9.5%) and Hong Kong with 5.6%. The country acts as a passageway between the centre of India and its Eastern provinces. Customs duties in Bangladesh are relatively high; however, the country is implementing a series of measures to reduce its trade barriers, including concessional tariffs, a customs duty recovery system and export processing zones as well as high-level negotiation with key countries. The country has benefited from more simplified procedures and regulations to exports its products to the European Union as an LDC (least developed country). The country export mainly to the USA (20% of all exports), Germany (15%) and the UK (11%).

In 2020, exports of goods from Bangladesh decreased to 33.6 billion USD (from 39.3 billion the previous year) and imports of goods were reduced to 52.8 billion USD (from 59.1 billion in 2019). Since becoming independent, Bangladesh has had a negative trade balance, with its deficit being financed by international aid and expatriate transfers. WTO estimated the 2020 trade balance to be -18.47 billion USD. With regards to services, the imports for 2020 were 8 billion USD, while the exports were 3.4 billion USD, leading to an overall trade balance of -18.4 billion USD. According to data from the Central Bank of Bangladesh, the country's trade deficit widened by 5.4% on the year in the first half of 2019-20 fiscal year (running from July 2019 to June 2020) to USD 8.22 billion. In the wake of a surge in import payments against lower exports earnings, Bangladesh's trade deficit escalated 160% in the July to October 2021 period: the trade deficit totalled 9.09 billion USD in contrast to 3.49 billion USD 12 months before (Bangladesh Bank, December 2021).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 52,83660,49559,09452,80480,448
Exports of Goods (million USD) 35,85139,25239,33733,60544,223
Imports of Services (million USD) 9,0119,2729,3348,04910,872
Exports of Services (million USD) 2,2622,9733,1783,4517,478

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 38.035.338.236.830.8
Trade Balance (million USD) -6,244-12,966-17,284-15,929-16,382
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -10,505-17,594-21,457-19,273-18,479
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -7.12.927.0-2.0-10.5
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.2-2.38.110.9-16.2
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 21.320.323.421.418.6
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 16.615.014.815.312.2

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 21.5-2.65.16.17.1
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 20.3-0.74.15.55.3

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), as well as of the preferential trade agreements (SAPTA) and Free Trade Area (SAFTA) associated with the Association.
Member of the Group of 8 Developing Countries (
G-8).
Member of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (
BIMSTEC).
Member of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (
APTA).
 
 
 
 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2022