Ariful Islam
The country’s export earnings have witnessed a robust growth in the Asian region because of superior quality of local products.
Bangladesh has recently made a great progress in pushing up its brand value globally, which has gradually been helping maintain a sustainable economic progress, experts said.
Economists suggest that in order to boost exports flow further, the government should focus on different destinations by diversifying the country’s products.
They urged the authorities to diversify products and expand the market for boosting our export earnings alongside learning how to add value to products and increase the RMG share. Exports to Asian region rose by 42.2 percent to $1.27 billion during first quarter (Q1) in the current fiscal year (FY) 2018-19.
It may be noted that the figure was $0.89 billion in the same period of previous fiscal year.
However, the country fetched the higher export earnings worth $374.92 million from India during July-September in FY 19, which was almost 142 percent higher over the same period of previous fiscal.
During July-September in FY 18, the figure was only $154.88 million.
It was followed by Japan, China Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore in the 2017-2018 fiscal.
The export earnings from Japan to Bangladesh saw 31.68 percent growth to $322.98 million in Q1 in the current fiscal while this figure was $203 from China, up 24.95 percent during July-September in the current fiscal from the same period of previous fiscal.
Experts said Japan has of late been providing market access to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), including Bangladesh, for 97.90 percent products, a measure which has largely pushed up the level of exports to Japan.
Meat and dairy products, eggs, vegetables and plants, cereals and starch, and other food preparations are not included in the tariff-free product list of Japan.
In 2011, the country also extended the effective period of the GSP scheme for 10 years until March 31, 2021.
Apparel items cover more than 80 percent of the total exports of Bangladesh.
However, export earnings from Korea to Bangladesh went up by almost 60 percent to $96.32 million during Q1 in current fiscal whereas it was $63.23 million from Malaysia, $40.7 million from Hong Kong and $29.71 from Singapore respectively.
Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB), told Bangladesh Post that export earnings from Asian region have recently increased, which is good news for Bangladesh.
He noted that the country now is capable of making the best quality products at low prices, which will help enhance export earnings even more from developed countries and thus give a boost to the country’s economy.
Although the country’s overall exports growth from the Asian region is not yet satisfactory, export earnings from the region, including Japan, India and Korea, have significantly increased in recent months.
Murshedy was of the view that the government should reduce trade barriers with the Asian region by engaging in discussions with other countries and take some initiatives to increase exports in the Asian region.
BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman told Bangladesh Post, “Export earnings maintained a positive growth in recent months including India, Japan and China as the apparel shipment rose significantly in Japan.”
He said, Bangladesh is now in the top position among the top performing environment-friendly readymade garment (RMG) industries across the world, thus rebuilding buyers’ confidence to invest more in the RMG sector.
Bangladesh has been shifting towards making high-value products, which is generating interest among foreign buyers about ordering more from Bangladesh.
He stated that the country needs some fiscal support from the government, including reducing the time frame to discharge export items from ports as well as improving communication systems which can help boost the export flow further.