It is imperative that we prioritize product diversification
Bangladesh continues to struggle with the spread of the coronavirus, and in addition to the lives being lost on a daily basis, our economy has also taken a serious battering. To that end, lockdowns have been lifted a while back now, and attempts at continuing operations in this new normal to steer our economy in the right direction are underway.
This is the perfect time for us to make some much-needed changes. We must use this opportunity to address some long-standing issues, chief among which is our overreliance on the apparel sector, and our need to find alternatives in order to have a more diverse export basket.
As such, this was explicitly mentioned by trade leaders and economists at a virtual dialogue, “International Trade in Covid Times: Impact and Way Forward for Bangladesh” organized by Resurgent Bangladesh, an economic recovery initiative put together by MCCI, DCCI, Chittagong Stock Exchange, BUILD, and Policy Exchange, where they argued that non-apparel sectors deserved equal financial policy support and incentives from the government.
There is little doubt that this diversification in our export basket will not happen overnight, and cannot be achieved without a concerted effort, which starts with the government and relevant authorities acknowledging the need to support our non-apparel sectors.
Experts have long called for changes to be made in this regard. Considering the negative effects Covid-19 has already had on the economy, in order to successfully turn things around and fulfil the ambitions we have for the near-future, it is imperative that we prioritize product diversification, and therefore, strengthen other sectors to complement RMG.