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Dhaka Tribune

Diversify exports to reduce dependence on RMG

Update : 13 May 2014, 06:40 PM

Reports suggest Bangladesh is on course to reach the export target of $30.5bn for the current financial year.

However, it remains the case that these exports are hugely over-dependent on  RMG, which accounts for 81% of exports.   Not only this, but the vast bulk of RMG exports are concentrated in the European Union and North American markets.

It is important for the country to diversify its export basket, both in terms of broadening the number of countries reached by our goods and in increasing the value of non-RMG items exported.

By creating more export jobs  in more sectors and growing new markets, there can be both direct gains for businesses and workers, and  a reduction in risks to the economy.  The risks inherent in being reliant on limited export items and destinations,  need to be spread around and reduced.

It is encouraging then that the government is looking to set up new trade missions and plans to create special incentives to expand exports for various non-RMG manufactured  items.

Overseas trade envoys speaking at a Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry roundtable  this week, have concurred that there is much untapped potential for the country to broaden its export base and to grow non-traditional markets.

News of plans to assemble mobile handsets for smartphones in the country, point to the possibilities that can be opened up by encouraging higher value export sectors to develop.  Business leaders and government need to work together on a bolder vision for growing the country’s export base.

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