Country’s overall exports grew 5.81 per cent in the outgoing fiscal year (FY18) to $36.67 bn from $34.65 bn of the fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17) riding on the higher shipment of garment products, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). However, the earnings are only $840 mn less than the fiscal year’s target of $37.50 bn. Like previous fiscals, the garment sector was the driving force and helped maintain the robust growth in the FY18.
“Our export is heavily dependent on garment products and the contribution of this sector to the export is increasing day-by-day. For achieving higher growth, we have to explore new markets along with diversification of export products,” said General Secretary of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) Dr. Jamal Uddin Ahmed. He suggested giving more attention to export products having scope for higher value addition.
Talking to BSS, President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) Abdus Salam Murshedi said the garments sector performed better due mainly to political stability. He also suggested the government give policy support and incentive for diversification of export items to increase overall exports of the country.
According to the EPB’s latest data, both the export earnings and growth of the garment sector surpassed the target in FY18. Export of garments products registered an 8.76 per cent growth to $30.61 bn, which was 1.51 per cent higher from the fiscal’s target of $30.16 bn.
In FY17, the country earned $28.15 bn by exporting garments items. Knitwear exports rose by 10.40 per cent to $15.18 bn against the target of $15.10 bn. The country exported knit products worth $13.75 bn in FY17. Woven garments exports were up by 7.18 per cent to $15.43 bn against the target of $15.06 bn. In FY17, the export earnings from woven were $14.39 bn.
Shipment of agricultural products witnessed a higher 21.79 per cent growth in FY18 as the country exported agricultural items worth $673.70 mn during the period. Jute and jute products witnessed a 6.56 per cent growth and the country exported jute and jute items worth $1.03 bn. Home textile items, including bedsheets and kitchen towels, export rose by 12.15 per cent to $878.60 mn in FY18.