Exports to US soar 17pc in Jul-Mar

Bangladesh's export earnings from the US market stood at $5.16 billion in the July-March period of the current fiscal year (2018-19), which is almost 17 percent higher than the amount --$4.41 billion -- earned in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. In the meantime, the country's apparel exports to the US increased by 15.57 percent to $1.63 billion in the first three months of the year over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Industries insiders opined that the country’s exports to US has been rising over the past several months due to shifting US orders of readymade garment products to Bangladesh amid US-China trade war. Many American buyers are now shifting to the country to avoid high tariff, they observed. Besides, strong dollar rate against Taka, quality products and time-befitting policy support from the government have pushed the export earnings from US market.
President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Rubana Huq said the country's export earnings have recently increased as US buyers are now placing more work orders in Bangladesh.

She said, “We need to be aware of the current market trend and carefully study all the possible options of value addition and product diversification to attract more orders from them.” Huq said local exporters are trying to motivate the global business partners to increase prices of products. This will help meet rising business cost and get more profit.

The BGMEA leader said they are now working to create new markets by promoting their products in order to raise export earnings. Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB), told Bangladesh Post that export earnings from the US have gradually increased, which is good news for Bangladesh.

He noted that the country is now capable of making the best quality products at low prices, which will help enhance exports to the US market. Popular clothing retailers and brands in the US are already trying to move away from China to other destinations like Bangladesh, as cost of production in China is too high, he observed.

Murshedy opined the government should act promptly to reduce trade barriers with different countries to increase export earnings further. Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President, Abul Kasem Khan said the trade war between US and China has put a positive impact in the country’s export earnings.

“Many 'sunset industries' in China will need to move out and Bangladesh can emerge an ideal destination for those”, he said, adding, “Therefore, Bangladesh has to create a smooth transition process, enabling situation focusing on ease of doing business for the factories to be relocated and should have a planned marketing and branding mechanism.”

“Time has come to expand our business and catch more global markets to boost up our trade and business,” an expert said. China and USA, the two economic super power, have engaged in fighting on several issues, especially rising tariff of their respective interests. Although apparel was not in the list of the items subjected to US President Donald Trump’s retaliatory 25 percent duty last year, it has been included in the updated list that has come out recently. This will help Bangladesh get more orders, experts said.

Bangladesh needs to capitalize on the tariff cuts and to seize this window of opportunity, it needs to develop the infrastructure, skill and technology capacity-based industry, they added.