Bangladesh must look at its exporting horizon with fresh eyes
The old saying goes: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Certainly, this wisdom applies to a nation’s economy as it moves forward. Diversification is always a smart approach, and overreliance on one particular industry, no matter how successful, could spell disaster somewhere down the road.
For a long time, the RMG industry has been the primary driver of Bangladesh’s economic growth. Indeed, we owe a lot to RMG, but just because this has sustained us in the past does not mean it will do so in the future -- as technologies change, global business practices change, and competition gets tougher. We must focus on, and develop, other businesses where we can excel in the global arena.
Here there is hope that the electronics industry, in particular, is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. As the Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister has said at a recent event: “I firmly believe that in export earning, the electronics sectors will overtake the ready-made garments sector.”
Companies like Walton have already exhibited the export dynamism of Bangladeshi electronics. This company makes refrigerators, metal castings, compressors, air conditioners, LED television sets, laptop computers, mobile phones, and even elevators. Following this example, hopefully other Bangladeshi companies will also dive into the market, setting higher and higher standards of quality though healthy competition.
We must remember that just because something has worked in the past does not mean it will work forever. Bangladesh must look at its exporting horizon with fresh eyes, and always look for new opportunities for growth. To that end, investing in research and development, rather than copying what has already been done, will go a long way towards taking us to the next level.