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Ariful Islam
The RMG export has witnessed a robust growth in recent times, due to the timely policy support given by the government.
To make the growth sustainable, the government has taken several steps, leading the sector to a satisfactory level, economists said.
Therefore, the sector, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the foreign currency earnings, has been contributing greatly to the economic uplift. On the other hand, higher rates of sterling pound, US dollar and Euro also contributed to the export rise, they said.
The export earnings from RMG witnessed a massive growth by 14.66 percent to $8.19 billion during the first quarter (Q1) in July-September period of the 2018-19 fiscal from $7.14 billion in the same period a year earlier.
The RMG sector stood at $2.45 billion in September this year, which was 48.15 percent higher than the same period a year ago. However, export earnings from the woven went up by 17.3 percent to $4 billion during the period in the current fiscal over the same period of FY18.
In addition, the knitwear export was $4.2 billion, posting a 12.27 percent rise over the same period in the last year.
World Bank lead economist Zahid Hussain said the government has to add more diversified products including Jute goods, leather and pharmaceuticals to the export basket.
“It is high time to focus on new and potential export items in order to come out of overdependence on readymade garments,” He said.
Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, said Bangladesh needs to prepare to gain from the global trade war, especially between China and the USA.
Economists told Bangladesh post that the US and Chinese work orders would come to Bangladesh in future taking advantages of lower labour cost for higher quality products.
They said popular clothing retailers and brands of in the US are already trying to move away from China to other destinations like Bangladesh, as cost of production in that country is too high.

BGMEA Senior Vice-President Faruque Hassan told Bangladesh Post that the foreign buyers are now showing more confidence in Bangladesh products as the country’s workplace safety is better than many other countries now.
He said, “We are now capitalising on the global trade war, especially between China and the USA. Many well-known clothing brands are increasing their purchase order in Bangladesh.”
He expects, “The RMG export earnings will rise further in the coming months as we are going to hike prices of our products in the wake of more demand.”