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Despite the gloomy predictions about the long-term impact of the extensive liberalization of international trade in a quota-free post multi-fibre agreement (MFA) regime after 2005, Bangladesh has strengthened their positions in the global apparel value chain. This study explores Bangladesh’s competitive edge by analysing structural gravity model based on a unique and large data set of 30 apparel exporting countries each of which exports to 163 countries. The study also explains the presence of ‘distance puzzle’ in apparel value chain and argues that the puzzle can be resolved by comparing the international trade relative with intra-national sales.