To capitalise on the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, Bangladesh needs to identify the products which have demands in the global market, especially in the US, say experts.
Amid the trade tension with China, many US buyers have already started looking for new markets, which has opened up a new window of opportunity for Bangladesh to expand its exports.
What is more, foreign buyers are now switching to the country in the wake of a plethora of initiatives undertaken by the government with intent to improve the working environment, particularly in the readymade garments (RMG) sector, and ensure quality products.
According to Bangladesh Bank’s latest assessment, China’s 6,831 exportable items to the tune of US$250 billion are now under US sanctions. Of these, 75 Bangladeshi products, amounting to $ 2.27 billion, are of the same Harmonised System (HS) code.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau, in the July-October period of the current fiscal, export earnings from the RMG grew 20.08 per cent to $11.33 billion, which was $9.43 billion in the same period last year.
Of the total amount, knitwear products fetched $5.88 billion, which is 17.83 per cent higher than the $4.98 billion in the same period a year ago. Woven products earned $5.45 billion, up 22.61 per cent compared to $4.45 billion a year ago.
While talking to Bangladesh Post on Thursday, experts said the rising trend of export earnings has given a relief to businessmen while the economic performances of many sectors have not yet reached the satisfactory level.
Moreover, the investors are considering the foreign buyers’ interest to import goods from Bangladesh as a positive sign, they added.
“A new avenue of opportunity for Bangladeshi products has opened up in the US, Europe and other markets. But we will have to identify the export items which have global demands, especially in the US,” Salahuddin Ahmed, former governor of Bangladesh Bank told Bangladesh Post.
Everything depends on how and in what way Bangladesh will address the issues such as infrastructural changes, competition from other countries, financing readiness, skilled labour shortage, and depreciation of the Chinese currency, he added.
“For example, China exports gown but usually we don’t have any attention to this type of clothing. There are many other outfits we don’t export. If we want to compete with others in the global market, we must produce the items which have huge demands,” he further said.
When contacted, Dr Zaidi Sattar, chairman of Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, said Bangladesh should be cautious about taking competitive advantage and maintaining the export-import market.
“Bangladesh may gain competitive advantage for this segment of export items in the short time. But if the country wants to increase its export volume, it will have to chalk up a long-term plan. In this regard, we need to frame our business strategies to explore our trade and business across the world,” he said.