Bangladesh flag Bangladesh: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Bangladesh

Foreign Trade in Figures

Trade represented 28% of Bangladeshi GDP in 2021 (World Bank, 2023). 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, including Germany at 15% of all exports), the United States (20%), the United Kingdom (11%) and China (2.3%). 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).

In 2021, exports of goods from Bangladesh increased to 44.22 billion USD (from 33.60 billion the previous year) and imports of goods increased to 80.44 billion USD (from 52.80 billion in 2020). Since becoming independent, Bangladesh has had a negative trade balance, with its deficit being financed by international aid and expatriate transfers. WTO estimated the 2021 trade balance to be -35.91 billion USD from -18.47 billion USD in 2020. With regards to services, the imports for 2021 were 10.87 billion USD, while the exports were 7.47 billion USD, leading to an overall trade balance of -32.52 billion USD.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 60,49559,09452,80480,44888,234
Exports of Goods (million USD) 39,25239,33733,60544,22354,695
Imports of Services (million USD) 9,6199,5587,92710,86612,155
Exports of Services (million USD) 5,4466,2146,0207,4758,270

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 32.531.626.327.733.8
Trade Balance (million USD) -17,284-15,929-16,394-32,617-29,792
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -21,457-19,273-18,300-36,008-33,677
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 23.90.5-11.415.331.2
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.111.5-17.59.229.4
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 19.818.515.817.120.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 12.713.110.410.712.9

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 3.02.27.27.57.8
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -12.92.417.69.59.0

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

7.4 bn USD of services exported in 2022
31.57%
19.67%
16.81%
12.79%
8.02%
5.69%
2.64%
1.79%
0.88%
0.08%
0.05%
16.8 bn USD of services imported in 2022
81.94%
7.90%
4.09%
2.44%
1.21%
0.72%
0.57%
0.48%
0.30%
0.18%
0.16%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: February 2024

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