Promila Kanya
Football lovers all around the world have become ecstatic over the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 and all eyes are focused on Russia, the host country for this year. Lots of speculations and beliefs are going on about the outcome of their favorite teams and potential winners are being betted on.
While everyone is swooning over the ongoing matches, many of us do not realize that there is a whole other side to it which involves the global economy. Countries get involved in bidding games to host the world cup because there is trade worth billions of dollars which benefits the host country’s economy. By winning the World Cup, a country can also pull itself out of an economic recession. In fact, any major sporting event can boost a country’s economy by bringing in more tourists, building higher number of important infrastructures, renovating the stadiums and building new ones .This activities leads overall business growth. According to experts, through hosting the world cup, the Russian economy will experience a stout growth in the short run.
After spending a total of USD 11 billion on improving the tourism sector, constructing and renovating facilities and many more, the Russian government has stated that the World Cup’s boost for the its GDP would hover between USD 26 billion and USD 30.8 billion over a period of 10 years, from 2013 to 2023. Not only the tourism sector, restaurants, bars, shopping malls and even airports in the Russian cities are earning huge revenues during the World Cup season. Moreover, the newly created 220,000 jobs will also generate significant income. According to Goldman Sachs, the host as well as the winner country usually witnesses an upward trend in their stock market. Along with monetary gains, Russia is also enjoying the attention of being the host country as tourists from around the globe are flocking to the Russian cities who are also flaunting their cultures and ways of life to the foreigners.
The Bangladesh economy has been positively affected by the World Cup so far. Demand for smart TVs with big screens was seen on the rise even before the games began. TV sales had doubled or more across the country and customers had eagerly looked for the perfect screen to watch their favorite matches on. TV manufacturers too were seen to make many lucrative offers.
As Bangladeshis we should be proud of the fact that the jackets worn by the FIFA World Cup teams have been made in Bangladesh. One particular factory at Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) in the Anwara upazila of Chattogram, is the proud maker of these official jackets of countries like Argentina, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Colombia, Mexico, and Russia. Nearly 100 other garment manufacturers in the country were involved in making fan jerseys which were exported worldwide. Bangladesh’s export of fan jerseys is reported to be of worth USD 1 billion. According to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), in the period of July-May, knitwear exports increased by USD 13.94 billion and woven garments by USD 14.18 billion. Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of Readymade Garments in the world and has attained considerable skill in this sector. It is anticipated that we might be able to export huge amount of RMG products to the Russian and adjoining markets in the near future as export to these countries is not satisfactory.
What is intriguing is that when countries do not perform well in the World Cup that too has a negative impact on their economies. According to a report by LA Times, Italy’s poor performance in 2010 World Cup cost its economy USD 170 million. And not all investments by the host country becomes beneficial, for example, when Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup, it was alleged to make some unnecessary spending which later on became heavy burdens for its government. Russia is said to host one of the most expensive World Cup events in history and the country should make good use of the opportunities pouring in for higher economic growth.
From buying jerseys to air tickets to simply bigger TVs, consumers around the world have willingly or unwillingly, become part of the economic side to World Cup 2018. Therefore, we may be right in asserting that putting its athletic part aside, the World Cup is actually a global business. It affects the monetary as well as fiscal sectors of the countries involved which in turn affect nations who trade with them. As a result, be it Russia or Bangladesh, every country becomes a part of this change.

The writer is Editorial Assistant, Bangladesh Post