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Export earnings post 17.24% growth July-November

  • Published at 10:33 pm December 5th, 2018
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The earnings are 12% higher than the target of $15.23 billion set for the period of July-November Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Last month rises 11.94%

Bangladesh's export earnings are keeping a higher growth momentum as merchandise sales posted a17.24% increase to $17.07 billion in the July-November period of FY19.

Export earnings went up 11.94% year-on-year to $3.42 billion in November, according to the latest data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

The ongoing US-China trade war, strong US economy, the largest destination for products originating from Bangladesh, and improved factory capacity played vital roles for the leap in the earnings, stakeholders said.

In reaction to the healthy growth of export earnings, exporters, particularly apparel manufacturers have given credit to safety standard improvement in the sector, which restored buyers’ confidence in Bangladesh for sourcing products.

On the other hand, trade analysts have attributed to ongoing trade war between US and China as well as better growth of major non-RMG items for the rise in export earnings.

According the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data released on Wednesday, in the July-November period of the FY19, Bangladesh’s overall export earnings stood at $17.07 billion, up by 17.24%, which was $14.56 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.   

The earnings are 12% higher than the target of $15.23 billion set for the period of July-November.    

“Export earnings from the apparel sector have been steadilygrowing, helping to register a double digit growth in overall exports of the country,” Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) president Abdus Salam Murshedy told the Dhaka Tribune. 

Apparel exports are doing better as the safety standard improvement in the sector has enhanced buyer's confidence in Bangladesh, said Salam, a former president of BGMEA.

Further, the China-US trade war helps Bangladesh to get more work orders from global brands and retailers, he added.       

The apparel sector, the largest contributor to national exports, registered an 18.60% rise to $14.18 billion in the July-November period, which was $11.96 billion in the same period a year ago. 

Of the total amount, Knitwear products earned $7.30 billion, which is 17% higher than the $6.24 billion in the same period a year ago. Woven products earned $6.88 billion, up by 20.33%, compared to $5.71 billion a year ago.

“It is a positive sign for Bangladesh that it maintained a double digit growth for months in the current fiscal year. I hope, the momentum of the export growth will continue helping Bangladesh to reaching its export target,” Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) told the Dhaka Tribune. 

This is largely because of theongoing US-China trade war, a reason that impacted export earnings positively, said the economist.

But the impact is temporary. In making the export growth sustainable, Bangladesh has to concentrate on attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as overseas investment is also shifting along with export orders, said Moazzem.

To this end, Bangladesh needs to improve the ease of doing business by offering more trade facilities to local and foreign investors, he added.  

Among the major sectors, agricultural products have posted a sharp rise by a 76.64% growth to $458.64 million in the first five months of the current fiscal year, the EPB data said.

In addition, export earnings from the pharmaceuticals sector rose by 33.96% to $58 million, plastic goods by 30% to $48.75 million, and specialized and home textiles by 54.37% and 2.92% respectively.

However, earnings from leather and leather goods witnessed a 16.11% negative growth to $434.7 million during the period, which was $518.15 million last year. 

Jute and jute goods, the third largest export earners, registered a 22% negative growth to $351 million, much to the worry of huge jute farmers.

Exports of frozen and live fish also fell to $1254.51 million from $272.4 million in the same period of the last fiscal year.