For the apparel sector, the target will be set at $33.78 billion with a 20.88% growth
The Ministry of Commerce on Thursday set a $41 billion export target for the current fiscal year from goods, up by 21.75% on the export earnings of the last fiscal year.
It also set a target of $7 billion from the export of services sector.
For the last FY20 the government had set the export target at $44.5 billion from goods, but it could earn only $33.67 billion registering a 16.93% drop in the year.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi announced the targets through a virtual press briefing. Salman F Rahman, Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and business leaders joined the briefing.
“For FY21, we have set an export target of $41 billion with a 21.75% growth from goods and $7 billion from the services sector ,” said Tipu Munshi.
The targets were set based on the global economic situation and impacts of Covid-19 on the global supply chain, as well as the government's stimulus package announced to cushion the fallout of the rampaging pandemic, said the minister.
He also said the export target would be revised after six months after analyzing the performance and global economic scenario.
“Someone may argue that the target is higher, but unless the target is set higher we will be losers before entering the battlefield,” said Salman F Rahman.
I agreed there are challenges ahead, but the target should be higher to tap new opportunities, added Rahman.
We should focus on new markets and new products like personal protective equipment (PPE). If we could do this, the target could even be exceeded, he hoped.
Sector-wise export targets
For the apparel sector, the largest contributor to national export, the target has been set at $33.78 billion with a 20.88% growth, of which $16.70 billion has been projected to come from knitwear products and $17.09 billion from woven goods.
In FY20, apparel exports plunged by 18.12% to $27.95 billion, as compared to $34.13 billion in the previous fiscal year.
For frozen and live fish, the export target has been set at $574 million, followed by jute and jute goods with $1.17 billion, agricultural products $1.07 billion, leather and leather goods $920 million, pharmaceuticals $170 million, home textile $960 million, plastic goods $123 million, and leather footwear at $540 million.
Businessmen believe target is achievable
Taking part in the briefing, business leaders said despite challenges, the export target is achievable but businesses needed continued policy support from the government.
“There are lots of challenges and lots of opportunities. Exports recovered in June from downward trends in March, April and May. We are doing better in the US and Canada markets,” BGMEA president Rubana Huq said.
The target was achievable on conditions, she added. The government had already provided huge support and the apparel sector needed continuation of these packages, added Rubana.
She sought financial support for the July-August period at a low rate to pay workers’ wages.
“Global buyers are reducing dependence on single country China for sourcing products, creating an opportunity for Bangladesh,” said Saiful Islam, Managing director of Picard Bangladesh.
To make it happen, policy support is crucial and needs to be continued and the government had to make the Savar Leather Industrial Park environmentally compliant by completing CETP without any further delay, added Islam.
In the meeting, knitwear manufacturers called for enhanced incentive.
“Under the global economic situation, it will be challenging to attain the targets. But policy support will be a cushion to address any challenge,” said BKMEA first vice president Mohammad Hatem who demanded a 10% cash incentive for the next two years.
FBCCI president Sheik Fazle Fahim urged the commerce ministry to include other ministries and government agencies to materialize the budget targets. Otherwise, the government might face problems in attaining the target, said Fahim.