Bangladesh’s bicycle exports have earned close to $85 million in the first eight months
It is encouraging to note that, over the past eight months, Bangladesh’s bicycle exports have seen a significant increase of 40%, having earned close to $85 million in the process.
This boon has in large part been caused by the pandemic, which has seen people avoid public transport.
But the rise in potential and value of our bicycle manufacturing industry is not new: In 2017, Bangladesh became the third largest exporter of bicycles to the UK and the EU, regions which boast bicycle-friendly cities and environmentally-conscious populaces seeking greener and more sustainable avenues for commuting.
This growth has seen the industry not only produce and export more bicycles in the last few years, but has also been a significant source of employment. Thus, the government would do well to ensure that the industry is incentivized further to continue its trajectory of growth.
One of the obstacles hindering Bangladesh’s growth in the industry has been its reliance on imported parts, with around 50% to 70% of parts currently being manufactured at home.
In a world that is becoming increasingly aware of its carbon footprint and with Bangladesh leading the fight against climate change, while at the same time seeking to diversify its export basket through more sustainable sources of income, bicycle manufacturing can be an ideal industry to take us forward on our development journey.
Increasing exports and subsequent growth can also pave the way for Bangladesh itself to adopt more cycle-friendly policies which create safer spaces on the road for cyclists. In order for the industry to truly fulfil its potential, infrastructural improvements and business friendly policies are essential, so that we can take advantage of the growing demand for bicycles across the world and remain competitive.