Asif Showkat, NewAge, September 9, 2008
Bangladesh Tariff Commission will examine the production cost and selling price of metal frame spectacles in China as local producers alleged that the communist country was dumping the item in market at cheaper price, official sources said.
‘The BTC has taken up the matter for scrutiny as local producers of metal frame spectacles complain that Chinese traders are dumping their products in large scale to Bangladesh,’ an officials of the BTC told New Age on Monday.
They said there would be a public hearing at BTC office on alleged dumping of the Chinese metal frame spectacles on October 14. The importers of Chinese spectacles and raw materials, and local producers would attend the hearing.
Dumping is defined as the act of a manufacturer in one country exporting a product to another country at a price which is either below the price it charges in its home market or is below its costs of production. Importing country can file a dumping allegation against the exporting countries under the Anti-dumping agreement of WTO, said BTC officials.
They said BTC in last week sent a letter to Bangladesh ambassador in Beijing to know the production price of metal frame spectacles manufactured in China as well as the market price of the product in China. Besides, BTC also wanted to know the number of metal frame spectacles industries in China.
The officials also said the importer countries can lodge anti-dumping case with WTO under the Anti-dumping agreement, which will be a lengthy process. They already received three years production cost and selling data of the local spectacles industries that showed that home producers were hitting hard by large import of Chinese spectacles at cheaper price.
Traders imports Chinese spectacles on 25 per cent duties. Low quality Chinese metal frame spectacles cost 30 to 50 cent while a high quality spectacles cost around $10. But locally produced spectacles cost double compared to Chinese products.
Manjurul Hoque Sikder, former president of Bangladesh Chasma Shilpa o Banik Samity, complained, low quality spectacles were being imported from china during last 10 years and local market were flooded with the Chinese products.
He further complained, the customs officials were not keeping close watch on imported spectacles and their quality.
Chairman of Bangladesh Tariff Commission Syed Naquib Muslim told New Age the local spectacles producers were producing quality spectacles in the subcontinent. The imported Chinese cheap spectacles were really posing threat to local products, he said.
He further said the local manufacturers are not interested to file dumping allegation against the exporters as they have to maintain production and imported raw materials cost data.
At present, 45 factories produce spectacle lens and meet 60 per cent of the domestic demand while three local manufacturers produce spectacle frames to meet 50 per cent of the local requirement.
In 2005-06 fiscal year, local manufacturers exported frames worth $1 lakh to South Korea and Saudi Arabia.