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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh registers $52.08bn export earnings for FY22

Crosses $50 billion-mark for the first time ever

Update : 04 Jul 2022, 09:46 AM

Bangladesh bagged $52.08 billion through exports in fiscal year 2021-22, registering a 34.38% year-on-year growth, according to recent data by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). 

This marked the first time in history that export earnings crossed the milestone of $50 billion.

The country previously roped in $38.75 billion from export earnings in FY21.

Manufacturers and experts expressed their joy on this achievement of the country. 

Apparel sector, the highest earners of the export receipts, earned $42.6 billion in the FY22, fetching a y-o-y growth of 35.47%, which was $31.45 billion in the last fiscal.

Among apparel products, knitwear registered a growth of 36.88% to $23.2 billion, while woven garments saw a growth of 33.82% to $19.4 billion, the EPB data also stated.

Home textile, a new player in the export basket, earned $1.62 billion in FY22 registering a growth of 43.28% from $1.13 billion in FY21.

Among other notable sectors, during the same period, agricultural products registered a growth of 13.04% to $1.16 billion, from $1.02 billion in the last fiscal.

Leather and leather goods registered a growth of 32.23% to $1.24 billion, which was $941.67 million in the same period of the last FY.

Engineering products, another promising export sector of the country, marked a growth of 50.4% to $795.63 million from $529 million last year.

Bed, kitchen and toilet lines registered a growth of 10.67% to $576.95 million, from $521.36 million in the last fiscal.

Frozen and live fish registered a growth of 11.64% to $532.94 million, from $477.37 million in the last fiscal.

However, jute and jute products registered a fall of 2.91% to $1.12 billion, which was $1.16 billion in the same period of the last FY.

Apart from the apparel sector, home textile, leather and leather goods sector, and jute and jute goods sector touched the milestone of $1 billion export.

What experts said

Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, said that Bangladeshi factories continued their production and exporting even during the Covid-19-induced lockdowns.

“The country's exports have crossed $50 billion; it is a great achievement. We are second only to India in South Asia. It is a great achievement to enter the $50 billion club globally,” Rahman also said.

He also said that this year, significant as the Padma Bridge was inaugurated recently, carried a special message for the overall development of the country, whose exports exceeded $50 billion in the same year.

“Bangladesh's development progress has come a long way due to competent leadership. Today, Bangladesh has become a developing country under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he added.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said that the export earnings crossed the milestone of $50 billion riding on the apparel industry.

“We are constantly working to diversify the products as well as expand the export market and take the industry to a sustainable position. Our achievements as a nation on the 50th anniversary of independence and the contribution of Bangladesh's ready-made garment industry in the last 40 years are now being discussed in the international arena as well,” he added.

He also said that if the country can pave the way for the advancement of the apparel industry, the driving force of the economy, then it is possible to earn $100 billion export earnings by 2030.

“Apparel industry is one of the major sectors for industrialization, employment and foreign exchange generation and to maintain the stability of the economy. From the collective point of view, it is advisable to take appropriate steps to take the sector in advance further,” he added.

RMG is a fashion and time bound export product, so simplification of import and export rules are required to increase the export, he added.

Mohammad Hatem, executive president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), told Dhaka Tribune that it was a great achievement.

“The demand for knitwear is increasing day by day in the global market. The knitwear uses 85% of raw material from local sources so the rate of value addition in knitwear is high, for this reason the export of knitwear is increasing,” he added.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Prof Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow of the CPD, said that earning $50 billion in exports was the touching of a big milestone for the country.

“However, along with gross exports, we also have to think about net exports. One of the major factors in this export earnings was the hike in the price of raw materials,” he added.

He also said that Bangladesh needs to look at how to further increase domestically value-added exports or net exports.

“In the case of readymade garments, we need to transform from cotton-based products to man-made fiber-based products, and also to intra-RMG diversification,” he added.

He also said that the authority should emphasize productivity, skill-driven competitiveness, signing preferential trade agreements, export basket diversification, and market diversification.

The incentive structure needs to be reformed so that it can play a role in technology transfer and skill development, he added.

Moreover, Bangladesh has to pay attention to new export basket such as the market for leather and pharmaceuticals were as big as the apparel.

The country should explore them, he added.

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