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Saifur Rahman
The country’s manufactured commodity exports rose by 5.69 percent year-on-years to $35.48 billion against the preset target $36.39 billion in the just-concluded fiscal. In FY17, the earning was $33.58 million, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
Data shows overall manufactured commodities registered high growth in recent years while it saw 4.34 percent growth in 2009-10 fiscal, 41.58 percent in 2010-11, 6.06 percent in 2011-12, 11.36 percent in 2012-13, 11.46 percent in 2013-14, 3.87 percent in 2014-15, 10.20 percent in 2015-16, 1.38 percent growth in 2016-17 fiscal and 5.69 percent growth in 2017-2018.
Industry insiders said exports witnessed constant growth following the rise in production capability as the government took many initiatives to develop infrastructure and also provided policy supports. Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh, told Bangladesh Post that the country is creating its branding globally that can be seen in RMG while some other rising sectors are also increasing production capability and exports.
The government took sufficient initiatives to raise the country’s production capability that results in GDP growth and export rise, he added.
“However, we need fast completion of construction works of economic zones, especially sector-wise EPZs as early as possible, Salam Murshedy said. He hope the launching of the economic zones will make a remarkable change in manufacturing capability as well as exports.
According to the EPB, it maintains the manufacturing growth momentum largely on the back of RMG, jute & jute goods, cement, salt, stone, handicrafts, paper & paper products, cotton & cotton products, specialised textiles, home textiles, and building materials.
RMG, which accounts for 86.27 percent of the total manufactured commodities exports, fetched $30.61 billion in the FY18, up 8.76 percent from the same period a year ago, said the recently published data of EPB.
The data shows, cement, salt, stone etc exports went up by 16.68 percent year-on-year to $12.59 million in FY18.
In FY2016-17, earning from Cement, Salt, Stone Etc export was $10.79 million. In the current fiscal year, cement, salt, stone etc export target was fixed at $11.50 million.
Exports of leather and leather goods, the second largest manufacture export earning sector after garments, was $1.09 billion in the period.
On the other hand, export of jute and jute goods, another top earner, jumped 6.56 percent to $1.03 billion. In the category, jute yarn and twine saw their earnings rise by 6.55 percent.
Dr Mahmudul Hasan, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), told Bangladesh Post that there was huge demand for jute and jute goods of Bangladesh in around 90 countries. “But we were failing to exploit this export potential properly because we were lagging behind in production and variation of jute and jute products,” he said.
The government has now taken a special move to produce quality jute and diversify jute products, he added.
Besides, extending policy support, the government has increased cash incentive for variation of jute products, he further added.
“Cash incentive has been increased by 20 percent for export-oriented diversified jute products. As a result, export of different quality of jute products has increased several times,” said Hasan. “Moreover, we are maintaining contracts with our foreign buyers regularly. In some places we have opened offices. So, our jute and jute goods export is increasing, he said.
He further said steps have also been taken to install modern equipment in jute mills in public sector for the production of diversified goods.
Statistics show, some small sectors are becoming potential as these see radical growth of exports.
For instance, export of building materials increased by 233.90 percent to $1.97 million in the FY18.
Furniture shipment grew by 20.27 percent to $63.18 million.