Export earnings hit $37.75b

The country’s export earnings hit a record at $37.75 billion in first eleven months of the ongoing fiscal year (FY2018-2019). The country’s total export earnings saw robust growth in July-May period in the current fiscal, up by 11.92 percent over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. The inflow was $33.73 billion during July-May in fiscal 2017-18.

The export earnings beat the strategic target of $35.40 billion set for this period of the current fiscal by 6.69 percent. Experts have attributed the healthy growth in the country’s export earnings to strong dollar rate against Taka, quality products and time-befitting measures adopted by the government to support the industrial sector.

The experts said foreign buyers are slowly switching to Bangladesh as the country is shifting towards making high-value products. They, however, urged the government to ensure a more business-friendly environment by improving ease of doing business. Besides, the country needs some fiscal supports including reducing time of discharging export items from ports as well as improving communication systems which can help boost the export flow further, they added.

Official data show export earnings from readymade garments, which accounts for almost 84 percent of the total export earnings, went up by 12.22 percent during the July-May period of the current fiscal from $31.73 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. On the other hand, export earnings from agricultural products stood at $854.46 million, up by 40.3 percent against $609.01 million earned in the same period of the previous fiscal.

Besides, the plastic sector also witnessed a positive growth of $112.79 million during same the time, which was 25.27 percent higher from $90.04 million in the same period of previous fiscal. Meanwhile, export earnings from frozen and live fish, chemical, cotton and cotton products, furniture, ceramic products and handicrafts also saw a positive growth.

The export earnings from the respective sectors were $474.02 million, $194.36 million, $141.12 million, $69.93 million, $66.77 million and $18.87 million respectively. However, the leather sector needs special care for a rebound due to its facing huge difficulties to compete in the global market.

Export earnings from this sector stood at $943.83 million during July-May in FY2019, which was 7.49 percent lower than that in the same period of the previous fiscal. During the first eleven months of FY18, the figure was $1020.25 million. Besides, jute and jute goods and engineering finished products also decreased by 21.45 percent to $773.57 million and by 2.31 percent to $319.74 million during the time.
Home textile, cement and wood and wood products also witnessed a negative growth during the period.

The figures were $800.85 million, $9.72 million and $3.82 million respectively. Abdus Salam Murshedy, President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB), told Bangladesh Post that export earnings have been increasing gradually, which is a positive news for Bangladesh.
Highlighting the government’s initiatives to establish the apparel sector in the global market, he said, “It is high time to extend similar support to other potential sectors like agriculture, ceramic and pharmaceutical industries.”

“This will reduce overdependence on the RMG sector,” he said. He noted that the country now is capable of making best quality products at low prices, which will help enhance export earnings even more from developed countries. Murshedy had suggested that the government should act promptly to reduce trade barriers with different countries, which will help enhance export earnings by diversifying the market globally.