• Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:19 pm

ED: Exports give hope

  • Published at 11:59 pm August 5th, 2020
export container
Photo: BIGSTOCK

What is perhaps reason for more encouragement is that this increase in export earnings was not primarily driven by the RMG industry

With Bangladesh continuing to navigate its way through the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy continues to struggle to operate in this new normal, and make the best of the current circumstances. 

To that end, it is encouraging to see that there has been a 44% increase in export earnings in the month of July, at $3.91 billion, compared to the $2.71b earned in the previous month of June. 

What is perhaps reason for more encouragement is that this increase in export earnings was not primarily driven by the RMG industry -- the sector which continues to be by far our biggest export -- but rather by the better performance of agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, jute and jute goods, and the home textile sectors. 

This diversification of our export basket has been the need of the hour for Bangladesh for a long time. This newspaper has editorialized several times on the need to shift away from our dependency on the RMG sector for our exports, a point that economic experts have continued to make as well.  

Bangladesh’s aspirations of achieving middle-income status will be extremely difficult to fulfill if we continue to rely on one sector for our export earnings. 

This very recent trend of other sectors stepping up to contribute to our overall exports must become the norm. There continue to be other sectors -- along with those mentioned above -- such as leather and frozen fish which have huge potential for us to export but have been struggling. It is imperative that the government take the necessary steps to empower our supplementary industries to finally reach their full potential.

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