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Saifur Rahman
The country’s export earnings rose 14.75 percent to reach $9.94 billion during the July-September period of the current fiscal, according to an Export Promotion Bureau data released on Monday.
September’s receipts, which beat the strategic target of $9.33 billion set for the month, are an increase of 14.75 percent from a month earlier, according to data from the EPB.
Garments, which account for more than 82.41 percent of the total exports, logged in $8.19 billion in two months, up 14.66 percent from the same period a year ago. Knitwear exports went up 12.27 percent year-on-year to $4.21 billion during the period while shipment of woven garments went up 17.30 percent to $3.98 billion.
Bangladesh has maintained its status as the second biggest apparel supplier in the world in 2017 and consolidated its position, according to data from the World Trade Organisation. Its share of global apparel market is 6.5 percent, up from 6.4 percent in 2016.
“Foreign retailers’ confidence in us is coming back,” said Mohammed Nasir, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the garment makers’ platform.
After the factory remediation as per the suggestions of the Accord and Alliance experts, the international retailers have started placing bulk orders again. Besides, China, the largest apparel exporter, has been losing its share in global apparel trade because of higher costs of production and shortage of workers. As a result, the work orders are being diverted to Bangladeshi factories, he added.
Moreover, the depreciation of local currency against the greenback also flattered the export receipts, exporters said. Apart from garment items, Agricultural Products, Engineering Products, Specialized Textiles performed well in September.
Agricultural products fetched $291.82 million, up 97.31 percent over the same period in last fiscal year, according to EPB data.
Vegetable exports increased 13.45 percent to $21.25 million and tobacco exports increased 77.55 percent to $29.81 million.
Fruit exports decreased 97.56 percent to $0.04 million.
Engineering products earned $75.40 million, up 8.76 percent compared to that in the same period a year ago.
Specialized textiles fetched $33.03 million in the July-September period, up 55.00 percent compared to that in the same period a year ago.
Jute and jute good exports raked $216.87 million, down 8.15 percent year-on-year.
The export of terry towel soared 49.22 percent to $10.29 million, pharmaceuticals 24.55 percent to $29.83 million.
On the other hand, the export of leather and leather goods dropped 17.46 percent year-on-year to $267.94 million and frozen and live fish dropped 18.17 percent to $137.70 million.
The government set $39 billion as the export target for the fiscal year, which is 6.54 percent higher than last year’s receipts of $36.66 billion.
The government expects to bring in more than $60 billion from exports by 2021.
Garment manufacturers said apparel shipments should grow 12-15 percent a year to hit the $50 billion export target by 2021.