Over the past few years, Bangladesh has shown great dynamism in the exporting sector, with export earnings going up by 7.23% in the first quarter of the current fiscal.
But the truth is, to hit our ambitious targets, we have to do better.
The RMG sector has a $50 billion target for exports by 2021 -- this is a tall order, and the current export growth rate will not cut it, but we certainly have the ability to go higher.
Bangladesh needs to become more competitive globally, and break into non-traditional markets -- this means negotiating duty-free access to countries that buy from us, and reducing existing duties.
There is no doubt that we are at a critical juncture in our economic history, and the policies we put down now will matter for what the future looks like.
It is important to focus on developing our infrastructure facilities and reducing transportation costs.
To that end, we need to build deep sea ports. Right now, other competing nations are getting the better of us by pushing ahead with their own port facility initiatives, and Bangladesh has a lot of catching up to do.
Also, we need to increase the capacity and efficiency of our existing ports to sustain competitiveness.
To meet the growing needs of our exporters, a deep sea port must be placed high up on our list of priorities.
Bangladesh has all the ingredients to turn into an exporting powerhouse, and with labour costs rising in East Asian countries, the scales are tipping in our favour. Let us seize this opportunity.