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HISTORY OF TRADE LIBARALIZATION
The history of trade between nations has been a long and colorful one, interrupt by wars and dramatic changes in beliefs about trade. Because of the economic impact that trade has always had on civilizations, governments often become involved in trade with the goal of producing a particular economic outcome for their countries. Trade liberalization refers to the removal of government incentives and restrictions from trade between nations. It is a subject of much scholarly and political debate, given the impact that trade has on the livelihood of so many people, especially in developed countries.
After independence in 1971, Bangladesh followed a of a highly restricted trade regime strategy. This was characterized by high tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade and an overvalued exchange rate system that was supported by the import-substitution industrialization strategy of the Government. This policy was pursued with the objectives of improving the balance of payment position of the country and creating a protected domestic market for manufacturing industries (Bhuyan and Rashid, 1993). The trade regime registered a major shift in the mid-1980s, when a policy of moderate liberalization was initiated. However, in the early 1990s, large-scale liberalization of trade was implemented. Since then, successive Governments have reaffirmed their commitment to the development of a more liberal trade regime.
Economists in particular have debated the advantages and disadvantages of trade liberalization for centuries. Classical economists such as David Ricardo and Adam Smith were strongly in favor of free trade. They pointed to examples of civilizations that had flourished as a result of increased trade liberalization, such as Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire, as well as the more modern example of the Netherlands.

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