Of the $34.13 billion, $5.68 billion came from non-traditional export markets and the rest $28.44 billion from traditional markets, mainly the USA and the Europe
Apparel exports to non-traditional markets have posted a sharp growth by 21.77% to $5.68 billion in the just concluded fiscal year, with the clothing business to both traditional and non-traditional destinations hitting $34.13 billion during the period.
Of the $34.13 billion, $5.68 billion came from non-traditional export markets and the rest $28.44 billion from traditional markets, mainly the USA and the Europe, according to the latest data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
Woven products earned $2.79 billion, which was 22.91% higher than $2.27 billion fetched in the previous fiscal year. Knitwear items raked in $2.88 billion, up by 20.68% from a year ago.
Earnings from apparel items saw a 14.49% growth to $34.13 billion in the last fiscal year.
Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey are considered as the major non-traditional export destinations for Bangladeshi products.
As per the data, Japan imported apparel goods worth $1.09 billion, which was 28.90% higher from the previous year.
China, the second largest non-traditional market for the country’s RMG, imported products worth $506.51 million, up by 29.33% from the previous year.
In addition, exports to India rose by 79.09% to $499.09 million during the period, the highest growth of apparel registered in the just concluded fiscal year.
Only export to Turkey posted a negative growth by 27% to $190 million, which was $260 million a year earlier.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune stakeholders have attributed the cash incentive and initiatives to explore new markets to the sharp and continued rise in export earnings from the new destinations.
“Bangladesh’s export earnings from new markets are increasing faster due to market diversification initiatives from the government and the apparel manufacturers,” former BGMEA senior vice president Faruque Hassan has told Dhaka Tribune.
In the last couple of years, BGMEA in collaboration with the government created opportunities for the manufacturers to participate in the global expositions to connect new buyers, which contributed a lot to enhanced exports to new markets, adds Hassan, also managing director of Giant Group.
Besides, safety improvement in the apparel sector expedited the export growth as it boosted investors’ confidence, leading to more work orders, sector people say.
As a part of the government’s market diversification step, the government increased cash incentive from 3% to 4% for the last fiscal year, which encouraged exporters to go for new destinations, former commerce minister Tofail Ahmed has told Dhaka Tribune.
Currently, apparel exporters enjoy 4% cash incentive for exports to non-traditional markets, while 1% incentive for traditional markets for the current fiscal year.
Economists also think incentive played an important role in the sharp growth.
Cash incentive for non-traditional export markets yielded good result for apparel business, which needs to be continued, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) research director Khondaker Golam Moazzem says.