“Guava used to be imported from Thailand. As the market of locally produced guava expanded, Bangladesh stopped importing guava,” he says.
Nine years ago, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) considered apples, oranges and pears as luxury items because of import.
To discourage consumption of luxury items, Bangladesh government imposed duty and tax on fruit import. Traders still have to pay more than 89 per cent of the fruit price during import. Ultimately, the consumers have to bear the burden. But the demand of imported fruits is growing.
According to Bangladesh Bank, fruits worth Tk 25.5 million, equivalent to USD 300 million [USD1=Tk 85], were imported in the 2019-20 fiscal.
Among the imported fruits, 94 per cent came from China, India, South Africa, Egypt, Bhutan and Brazil. The rest were imported from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan and some other countries.
It has been presumed that the retail market size of fruits in Bangladesh is around Tk 100 billion.