Rapid rise in plastic export earnings

The country’s export earnings from plastic products have registered a rapid growth, up 18.01 percent to $31.51 million, during July-September this fiscal (FY 2019-20). In the same period of the previous fiscal, the amount was $26.70 million. Experts attributed the cheaper rate, production of quality products, enhanced manufacturing efficiency and market diversification in pushing up earnings from this sector.

Although most of the manufacturing product exports have recently decreased, the plastic sector has witnessed a robust growth, they opined. The earnings fell by 15.79 percent to $98.48 million in 2017-18 fiscal from $116.5 million in 2016-17 fiscal. It rebounded and showed a positive growth by 21.65 percent to $119.8 million in the last fiscal year.

Most of the earnings of this sector came from India, standing at $19.79 million during the last fiscal. It was followed by Germany ($5.68 million), China ($4.99 million), United States ($4.77 million), the United Kingdom ($1.6 million), Japan ($1.5 million) and Belgium ($1.4 million) during the time.

Economists say, the plastic sector is contributing significantly through raking up the amount of foreign currency in recent times to make the country’s export growth sustainable. Although plastic products have environmentally negative impact on the global front, the government should take a major initiative to recycle plastic waste timely without shutting production, they added.

The Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) president Jashim Uddin said, “We are yet to capitalize on soaring global demand for plastic goods.” Nonetheless, earnings from this sector are increasing gradually,” he continued. He said that a huge investment is required to increase the export earnings as the plastic products have a $1 trillion market globally. The government should give some timely support to this sector on priority basis to ensure its further growth, he added.