The government has set $37bn export target with an over 8% growth for the current fiscal year which analysts termed unambitious in line with the present export growth trend.
In the last fiscal year, Bangladesh earned $34.24bn, posting a 9.72% growth, which was 2.21 higher against the target of 33.5 billion set for FY 2015-16.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed came up with the announcement at a media briefing at his secretariat yesterday. Senior Commerce Secretary Hedayeullah Al Mamoon and Mafruha Sultana Vice Chairman and CEO of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) were present at the briefing.
“Bangladesh has set a milestone in export earnings. Export earnings exceeded the target and posted 9.72% growth to $34.24bn. The credit goes to manufacturers as they are back to business, overcoming factory disaster,” Tofail Ahmed told reporters.
He said considering the global economic situation and previous success, a $37bn export target has been set for the new fiscal year with 8.06% growth.
“Our export earnings would have been $40 billion if Euro had not been devalued. GSP suspension did not hurt Bangladesh export to the U.S. market as export earnings rose to $6.2bn with 7.55% rise in the last fiscal year,” according to the commerce minister.
Commenting on the recent terror attacks, the minister said it is a global phenomenon, which the world witnesses and it would not hurt Bangladesh exports.
He also said Britain’s exit from the European Union would not be a problem as the UK is a very close friend of Bangladesh where a good number of companies are doing business.
“We will negotiate with Britain to continue to have trade facilities from there after its exit from EU.”
As per the target, knitwear products have to earn $14.16bn while woven products $16.20bn in the current fiscal. Meanwhile, leather and leather products have to earn $1.22bn, frozen foods $541m, agriculture products $608m, jute and jute goods $964m and home textile $775m.
Though the manufactures have termed the target rational, considering the economic scenario, the economist say it is unambitious because of higher export growth in the previous year than the target and better economic situation in the globe.
Bangladesh has to consider the impact of Euro devaluation and probable impact of Brexit in setting export target, said Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) president Abdus Salam Murshedy told the Dhaka Tribune.
“Considering these aspects, “I think the export target is logical and timely.”
If the present growth ratio can be maintained, it will be over 15% next year as some 100 green RMG factories will join export by the next fiscal year, added Abdus Salam Murshedy
“A $37bn export target with an 8% growth is an unambitious target as the present growth ratio is higher than it,” Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute (PRI), told the Dhaka Tribune.
If Bangladesh wants to attain $50bn export target, the growth has to be double digit, Mansur said, calling for a higher target and steps to address the problems in the way of attainment.
In the last fiscal year, the global economic situation was not so good, which is expected to recover in this current fiscal year, he added.
Mansur called upon the government to hold diplomatic negotiation to avert an adverse impact of Brexit since UK is a major destination for Bangladeshi products.
The government has set the target, taking into consideration previous export trend, positive macro economic indicators, government’s export promotional activities, incentives for exportable products, slow recovery of global economy, low commodity price in the global market, economic problem of the oil and other commodity-exporting countries, fallout from the Brexit, possible impact of TPP on export trade, prolonged recession and economic turmoil in some countries into account.