Diversifying our export basket has always been one of the conversation points about our economy
In these difficult times, with the Covid-19 compelling economies across the world to come to a screeching halt, it is vital that all measures are taken to protect vital components of the economy.
To that end, it is good to see the Bangladesh government taking some measures with the Tk5,000 crore provided for the export-oriented industries. This incentive package will no doubt provide the support to help with wages and allowances of the workers, and rightfully has been commended.
However, this does not address the full issue, which is that all of Bangladesh’s sectors across the board are facing extreme difficulties, and therefore, require assistance from the government to keep afloat.
While it is tempting to focus government attention and incentives only on the RMG sector -- with about 83% of the total export earnings coming from RMG products -- the government would do well, particularly during uncertain and difficult times such as these, to remember the other industries that also make up the economy.
Industries like jute, leather, seafood production, not to mention the hospitality and tourism sectors are just a few that will also be hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus and as such, deserve the government’s attention to keep them afloat.
Diversifying our export basket has always been one of the conversation points about our economy despite its steady growth over the past decade or so.
As such, cherry-picking industries to protect can do a disservice to the contributions made by the other sectors and industries of the economy, neglecting their needs.
Therefore, the government must take all measures to protect industries across the board, which provide livelihoods to millions, and keep our economy healthy and diversified.