Jan 08, 2016
The export earning in first six months of this fiscal year exceeded target by 1.38% as the latest data showed $16.08bn earning against $15.86bn target set for the period.
The readymade garment industry had played a major role in the overall export rise.
According to the industry insiders, improvement of safety standard in the RMG sector and peaceful political situation contributed to the export growth.
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data showed that Bangladesh earned $16.08bn in the July-December period, increasing 7.84% from $14.91bn a year ago.
The readymade garment sector, the main driver of Bangladesh’s export, alone earned $13.14bn of the total figure, with 9.24% growth from $12.02bn of the same period last year.
According to EPB data, the woven sector earned $6.7bn with 12.42% growth and the knitwear sector received $6.43bn with 6.11% rise.
The month-to-month data showed that in December the exports posted 12.66% rise to $3.20bn. The figure was $2.84bn in December last fiscal year. The earning during this December is 7.30% higher than the target set for the month. The target was $2.98bn.
“Buyers have got back their confidence as Accord-Alliance safety assessment found that the number of risky factories has reduced to less than 2%. Stable political situation also acted as a catalyst to the export growth,” Mohammed Nasir, vice president of BGMEA, told the Dhaka Tribune.
He said: “After the Rana Plaza collapse, most of the RMG factories in Bangladesh were described as vulnerable. But now the safety inspection found only 38 factories are risky. This improvement helped the sector regain retailers’ confidence and get more work orders.”
Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said a 7.84% export growth in the first half of the fiscal year was optimistic and if the trend continued in the upcoming months, the overall growth could be in double-digit.
“In the past, the growth of knitwear and woven garments was very close to each other but in recent time, we have noticed that the growth of knitwear products has slowed, but for woven products, it’s different,” he said.
He said the stakeholders and the government should look into the matter that why the growth of knitwear products was less than that of woven products.
He also urged the manufacturers to keep in mind about the fluctuating demands of products in the consumer-end and to explore new markets.
EPB Vice-Chairman Shubhashish Bose said the export performance for the H1 was very satisfactory. He said: “We have already met 48.01% of yearly export target in the six-month period.”
“RMG sector is contributing more as its foundation is strong, but we are also trying to revive other sectors like agriculture, frozen foods etc which are now in the negative growth,” Bose said.
Commenting on the agricultural products, he said Bangladesh had already started exporting mango and the EPB was also planing to introduce more export products to enlarge the country’s export basket.
Data showed that among the major and potential sectors, pharmaceutical earned $43m during the last six months posting 17.22% growth. The leather goods export rose by 60.68% to $176.86m.
Rubber export grew 44.65%, followed by jute yarn 32.77%, specialised textile 11%, home textile 16.68%, engineering products 25.73% and furniture 13.19%.
Growth was negative in the sectors including jute and jute goods, bicycle, jute sacks and bags, frozen foods, tea, vegetable, plastic products and leather.