Category Archives: Economic Growth/GDP/Exports and Foreign Trade

Apparel exporters eye $3b export to India

http://www.bssnews.net/newsDetails.php?cat=0&id=205401&date=2011-10-11

Apparel exporters eye $3b export to India

DHAKA, Oct 11 (BSS) – Encouraged by the duty-free access to Indian apparel market, Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) exporters are expecting to fetch about three billion US dollars from the Indian apparel market of US$30b.

Business leaders said local exporters have already started RMG export to India after it offered duty and quota-free market access of 46 Bangladeshi textile products during its Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s September 6-7 Dhaka visit.

“There’re no guidelines on Bangladesh’s garment export to Indian market with regard to tariff facility as it is a matter of business people,” Abdul Matlub Ahmad, president of India- Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI), told BSS today.

On guidelines for export of duty-free garment products to India, Matlub said a target has been set to export goods valued one billion US dollars to the potential market.

“Everything is basically on track. We will achieve the target.”

Echoing the Matlub, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and exporters Association (BGMEA) M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said some local manufacturers have already started exporting RMG goods to India keeping in mind the tariff treatment.

Mohiuddin said the Indian prime minister announced the duty- free market access at the request of Bangladesh and a notification was issued too soon after the announcement.

Therefore, he said, there is nothing to make guidelines on the tariff treatment.

Leading global chain stores and corporate houses have started doing business in India, he said, adding that there is a huge potential of Dhaka-Delhi trade.

Abdus Salam Murshedy, former BGMEA president, said local exporters are discussing with Indian retailers and pricing being given to customers.

“We have a lot of preparations to kick off apparel export to Indian market in a big way. I think it is the beginning and we will get new orders from India next year,” said Murshedy, also president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB)

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan said he would lead a team to India within a month or two to explore the RMG market and give retailers an overview about Bangladesh apparel industry.

Khan said the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) leaders, mainly apparel exporters, would be in the team.

He said Bangladesh’s apparel export to India is on the sharp rise as it has exported RMG goods worth 35 million US dollars to India last year.

Bangladesh’s imports from India in 2009-10 totaled 3.2 billion US dollars against its exports of just $304.63m with the trade deficit remaining nearly at $3b mark in the fiscal.

India is Bangladesh’s second most important import source after China and ranks fifth as Bangladesh’s export destination.

Manufactured goods export retain edge over primary commodities in July

http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&news_id=41109&date=2011-10-10

Manufactured goods export retain edge over primary commodities in July

Buoyed by the healthy performance of readymade garments (RMG), frozen foods, leather and leather goods, jute and jute-made goods, export of manufactured commodities maintained its edge over primary commodities in July of the current fiscal (2011-12), reports UNB.

Country’s overall export earnings during the one-month period reached US$ 2339.52 million, an increase of 28.70 per cent over the same month of last year and also exceeding the target of US$ 2178.30 million.

Of the July earnings, export of manufactured commodities fetched $ 2246.43 million showing an increase of 28.79 per cent over the same month of last year, according to the latest statistics released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Export of primary commodities also rose to $ 93.09 million in July, showing a growth of 26.50 per cent and exceeding the target of $ 91.69 million for the month.

According to the EPB statistics, export of manufactured commodities totaled $ 2246.43 million in July this fiscal, surpassing the strategic target of US$ 2086.61 million. Jute and jute-made goods, knitwear, woven garment, leather, other manufactured products, footwear, home textiles, plastic products and cotton fabrics showed good performance.

However, glassware, ceramic materials, specialized textile and handicrafts showed negative export growth during July this fiscal compared to the same month last year.

The earnings from major export-oriented knitwear sector totaled $ 1007.88 million in July this fiscal showing a 26.20 per cent growth over the same month of last year while woven garment fetched $ 888 million having a 32.28 per cent growth over the corresponding month of last year.

In July this fiscal, export of jute and jute-made goods totaled $ 76.57 million, petroleum byproducts $ 40.85 million, leather $ 29.30 million, other manufactured products $ 5.94 million and engineering products $ 27.40 million.

During the period, export of home textiles totaled US$ 64.33 million, glassware $ 0.02 million, plastic products $ 6.29 million, handicrafts $ 0.31 million, ceramic products $ 3.09 million, footwear $ 38.51 million and cotton fabrics $ 11.53 million.

Of the export of primary commodities in July, frozen shrimp, frozen fish, fruits, vegetables, dry food, flowers and foliage, crabs, and betel nut showed healthy performance except fish fry, tobacco, rice, molasses, turmeric and soybean oil.

Frozen shrimp export in July this fiscal totaled $ 52.36 million showing a 33.33 per cent growth over the same month of last year while frozen fish fetched $ 5.33 million.

Vegetables export for the first month of current fiscal totaled $ 7.84 million, fruits $ 5.18 million, tobacco $ 5.65 million, flowers and foliage $ 5.14 million and dry food $ 2.76 million.

Export of tea totaled 0.15 million this July, followed by betel nut $ 3.86 million and fruit juice $ 1.93 million.

Pak towel maker to set-up Tk 300m industry in CEPZ

http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/finance/74181-pak-towel-maker-to-set-up-tk-300m-industry-in-cepz.html

Pak towel maker to set-up Tk 300m industry in CEPZ
Author / Source : MASHIUR RAHAMAN

DHAKA, OCT 7: A renowned Pakistan based towel manufacturer is going to set-up a towel factory in Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) with initial investment  of Tk300 million, top company official told The Independent. Pakistan traditionally has a rich heritage of high-quality towel manufacturing and enjoys high demands in Western markets, Sumara Haleem Puri, proprietor of the First Women Fashion of Pakistan said.

“Our investment in CEPZ will not only pore in foreign invest in Bangladesh but also expertise to enrich the thriving local garments industry,” he added.

Mr Puri, in collaboration of his local partner, has already acquired land to set-up the towel factory. Construction works of the industry will began in early 2012 and expected to go for commentarial production by the end of the same year.

“We have monthly manufacture plan of 800 tons. Entire products of this establishment will be exported to European markets,” Mr Puri said.

Pakistan’s once-thriving textiles industry now faces hard time. In a country plagued by political violence and longstanding energy crisis, investment drain-out has forced the textile business to move to other countries, most notably, Bangladesh.

Industry experts said conditions in Bangladesh are favourable and this is luring Pakistani businessmen to relocate or expand their business to Dhaka. They cited certain advantages for Pakistani businessmen in Bangladesh, such as having a common history and culture, more investor-friendly policies, cheap labour and tax-free access to 37 countries, including the European Union, Canada and Australia.

“It is true that Bangladeshi bureaucracy is sometimes ‘old-style’ that takes time in doing things but when you are bringing foreign investment into the country, they are the most cooperative,” he claims. As per primary business plan, the new towel factory will employ about 300 low-skilled workers who will eventually be trained up by Pakistani expert machine operators, he said.

“Bangladeshi workers are quick learner and they will be trained up as experts to handle the entire production activities,” he added.

Classified as a least-developed country, Bangladesh enjoys duty-free export facility to 27 European Union countries, and 10 other developed countries, including Japan, Canada and Australia, under bilateral agreements. Pakistan, on the other hand, faces higher tariffs in the EU and US markets, putting its exporters at a disadvantage.

Easy availability of cheap labour has enabled Bangladesh to join the global supply chain for low-end textiles and clothing. It has also helped the country to manufacture garments for international brands, such as JC Penney, Wal-Mart, H&M, Kohl’s, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour.

“Apart from the worsening law-and-order situation in Pakistan, labour cost is much higher in my country along with chronic power crisis,” Mr Puri said.

Last year, Bangladesh nearly doubled its minimum monthly wage to Tk 3,000 for workers in the garments industry. However, the pay is still low compared to China, India, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. At a government-set Rs 7,000 (USD 80.55), Pakistan’s minimum monthly wage is much higher than that in Bangladesh. While Bangladesh has its own power problems, facing up to 2,000 MW of shortage, it is taking firm steps to address the energy crisis.

The government is aiming to triple power generation to 15,000 MW over the next five years, and plans to build 89 power plants on a fast-track basis.

“On top of everything, it is the business friendly attitude of Bangladesh government that makes investment in to this country relatively safer as compare to mine,” he said adding that he is looking forward for a prosperous business growth in this country. “Depending on investment outcomes, we will consider further investment in Bangladesh in near future,” Mr Puri added.

B’desh RMG may get duty-free entry to US market

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=152181&date=2011-10-08

B’desh RMG may get duty-free entry to US market
Businesses hopeful

Nizam Ahmed

Bangladesh is likely to get duty free access for its ready-made garments (RMG) to the US and attract more investment from the world’s largest economy, diplomatic and business circles said on Friday.

The confidence about this has been emboldened following a recent interaction between the business leaders of the two countries in New York, traders said.

“The US trade leaders have assured us to take the issue with the office of US Trade Representative,” AK Azad, president of the Federation of the Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) told the FE.

“A bill is scheduled to be placed soon in the senate for passage,” said Mr Azad who led a 20-member trade delegation as part of the entourage of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who visited New York to attend the recent United Nations General Assembly.

US imports around 40 per cent of Bangladesh’s annual garments exports worth $18 billion, while more than 50 per cent are imported by European Union (EU) and the rest by Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

Bangladesh garments enjoy duty free access to the EU — and India which recently announced such facility.

Some leading US investors and entrepreneurs including Mark Jaffe, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Greater NY Chamber of Commerce was present at the meeting, traders said.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who attended the meeting as the chief guest urged US entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh manly in energy sector, a recent statement of the foreign ministry said in its website.

Dr Dipu Moni also touched on the Bangladesh-USA business relations terming the US as the largest trading partner both in terms of trade and commerce as well as investment, a media release from the US-based Action Products International, Inc. (pinksheets:APII).

US investment in Bangladesh is increasing gradually in energy sector, but exact cumulative figure was not available immediately, an official of the Board of Investment (BoI) said.

Bangladesh drew $913.32 million as foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2010 against $700.16 million in the previous year.

“The US traders also have shown interest in making investment, mainly in computer and information technology and have deeply considered investment in energy sector,” said Morshed Murad Ibrahim, president of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), a member of the delegation.

The US-based Action Products International, Inc. (pinksheets:APII) said on Wednesday that it was awaiting a positive response from the Bangladesh authorities to expand cloud computing in the South Asian country.

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

It provides computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services.

Parallels to this concept can be drawn with the electricity grid, wherein end-users consume power without needing to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service

“Bangladesh is emerging as a technology and information hotspot, and cloud services are featured in the government’s development strategy for the country because in part, cloud services are low-cost, scalable, and permanently state-of-the-art,” the firm said in its website.

APII forwarded its proposal for expansion of its cloud computing service to Bangladesh at the meeting at the New York Chamber.

APII discussed products and services and outlined the revenues and potential for job creation within both countries.

Bangladesh has the highest population density in the world and can benefit greatly by utilising cloud Internet services such as those provided by APII.

Exports: focus on diversity

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=205157

Exports: focus on diversity

A view of Chittagong Port. The Export Promotion Bureau is working to introduce some non-traditional export items under its 'one district one product programme'.Photo: STAR

Refayet Ullah Mirdha

The country’s exports are still heavily dependent on garment items as little diversification has taken place over the years.

Bangladesh has much potential in exporting a number of other items across the globe, besides apparel.

Being a member of the least developed countries (LDCs), the country enjoys several preferential facilities in the export of goods. So far, the country has been able to exploit this facility only in the case of apparel.

In the dominance of apparel in exports, woven and knitwear products accounted for 78.14 percent or $17.91 billion in fiscal 2010-11, rising from 77.12 percent or $12.50 billion in fiscal 2009-10, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data showed.

The amount of contribution would be much more than 80 percent if all other apparel items like home textiles, specialised woven and knitted fabrics are included under the garment products.

After garment products, the export of raw jute, jute products, jute yarn and jute sacks is growing at a fast rate, reaching $1.12 billion last fiscal year.

Among other products, the government has increased cash incentives on the export of potatoes to 20 percent from 10 percent in the current fiscal year, in an effort to diversify exports.

Moreover, ocean going vessels have been performing well in the last couple of years as exporters found some markets, like Germany, Denmark and some African countries as destinations of their products.

The business community said the export basket has not diversified due to a lack of government initiatives, leading to heavy dependence on one or two products. However, EPB is trying to develop some non-traditional items to add to the export basket.

EPB, in collaboration with the respective ministries, has been working to bring some non-traditional export items along with the traditional products under its ‘one district one product programme’, said the body’s Vice Chairman Jalal Ahmed.

At present, Bangladesh exports ‘ator’ (the essence of fragrant Agor trees) from Sylhet and Moulvibazar, rubber from Bandarban, earthen tiles from Satkhira, and ‘papadums’ from Dinajpur.

However, these items have officially not been referred to as traditional export items yet, said Ahmed.

He said some people from a village in Sylhet are exporting ‘ator’ over the years to different countries in the Middle East. There is high demand for such fragrances among the well-off communities in the Middle East.

EPB is currently working to promote 12 exportable items like travel bags or luggage, paper, printed and packaging materials, ICT and software and toys, he said.

“We have already contacted people who make papadums in the Dinajpur district as the area is famous for this delicious food item,” Ahmed said.

If this non-traditional item could make an entry into the export markets, Bangladesh will be able to export papadums worth $400 million in a year only in the UK, as demand for the item is high there.

If the item gets an entry into Europe, it would generate employment for thousands of poor in the district, he said.

In the UK, several Bangladeshi-born British citizens own and run restaurants, where demand for papadums is high. Some restaurant owners are already importing papadums from Bangladesh in small quantities.

He said EPB is financing the poor, especially women in Dinajpur, through the SME Foundation so that they can export this item to the UK.

“I have already contacted a British restaurant owner to export papadums from Dinajpur. If the entrepreneur approves the item, then a new avenue will open for Bangladesh, as there are thousands of such restaurants over there,” the EPB vice chairman said.

SME Foundation officials will visit Dinajpur on October 10 to observe the overall situation of papadum exports and to talk to the makers, he added.

Even though product diversification is not taking place, the markets for Bangladeshi products are diversifying because of initiatives from private sector entrepreneurs.

Bangladesh discovered some export destinations over the last few years, beside the traditional EU, US and Canada.

Bangladesh’s exports are currently growing to markets like Japan, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and South Africa.

Among the exportable items, tents, camera parts, golf shafts, bicycles, caps, wigs and human hair, dry foods, zippers have been added to the list of diversified items in the last few years.

Analysts have been suggesting both the government and exporters to diversify products and markets for sustainable international trade.

Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute (PRI), said many items do not get proper attention from the government.

One of the major causes of growth in the export of garments is that the sector enjoys different facilities for a long time whereas other sectors do not get such facilities, he said.

Moreover, the garments sector gets raw materials easily; raw materials for the other sectors are not readily available, he added. “Every sector needs special attention from the government for higher export growth,” he said.

reefat@thedailystar.net

Pak investors planning factory relocation

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=151776&date=2011-10-05

Pak investors planning factory relocation
FE Report

Textiles, garments and pharmaceuticals entrepreneurs from Pakistan are seeking ways to invest in Bangladesh, lured by the country’s liberal foreign investment policies and incentive regime, a Pakistani industrialist said Tuesday.

“Cheaper labour and other facilities like the European Union’s generalised system of preferences (GSP) have inspired us to invest in your country,” said Jumara Haleem Puri.

“Political instability in Pakistan is also another factor to relocate our factories to Bangladesh,” he told reporters in the city.

“A good number of industrialists of Pakistan are planning to shift their industries to Bangladesh. Owners of textiles, garments and pharmaceutical companies are the main investors who want to invest in Bangladesh,” Mr Puri said.

He also said that he had completed all formalities to start a towel manufacturing factory in Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) with an initial investment of Tk 300 million.

“We will employ at least 300 Bangladeshi people in our new factory,” he said.

Mr Haleem said he along with other Pakistani and Bangladeshi investors are going to import advanced drugs of heart disease for the local market, which will be marketed at a competitive price.

“We’ve signed an agreement with Apollo Hospitals in Dhaka and some other reputed hospitals of Bangladesh that provide treatment to cardiac patients,” Mr Puri said.

Garment, knitwear makers bag $75m export orders from US

http://www.bssnews.net/newsDetails.php?cat=2&id=204071&date=2011-10-04

Garment, knitwear makers bag $75m export orders from US

DHAKA, Oct 4 (BSS) – Bangladeshi Garments and knitwear manufacturers have bagged export orders worth US$75 million from the Magic Sourcing Show- 2011 held recently in the United States (US).

According to a statement issued by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladeshi exhibitors drew great attention from the visitors during the event resulting in big success in the export promotion initiative.

The export order is US$18 million more than last year’s.

The four-day ‘Men’s Apparel Guild in California (MAGIC) show ended in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 24, 2011.

Under the auspices of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB),a total of 21 garment manufacturers and the state-run EPB participated in the trade show, the largest in North America.

A delegation from Bangladesh, led by Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Commerce ABM Abul Qasem, attended the MAGIC showcase. They visited Bangladeshi stalls and exchanged views with the exhibitors.

MAGIC is the largest trade show in the North America, which organizes two shows annually — one in February and the other in August.

The Magic Show is positioned as one of the most comprehensive trade events for giving an insight into the apparel industry. The MAGIC Show is a good place for businessmen to understand new trends in business and develop innovation matching fashion trend.

The event provides opportunity to establish links with the chain stores in the international arena. It proves to be a connecting link for more than 700 manufacturers, fabric and trim suppliers, print and design studios, service providers in more than 40 countries.

Of the total garments export from Bangladesh, 56 per cent go to European countries, 25 per cent to the USA, five per cent to Canada and the rest to the other countries on the globe, says Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Accreditation Board strengthened to help boost exports

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=151821&date=2011-10-05

Accreditation Board strengthened to help boost exports
Nizam Ahmed

Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB) has been strengthened in accordance with international standards to boost exports, a top official of the BAB said on Tuesday.

“We have engaged more manpower and expertise to provide accreditation to local products and firms, for greater acceptance in the world market, ” Mohammad Abu Abdullah, director general of BAB told the FE.

BAB is an autonomous authority related to the ministry of industry to certify competence of firms, companies and enterprises under the public and the private sectors and their products.

The board, which was set up in 2006, has been in a dormant state until recently. It, from now on, will also issue guidelines and monitor activities of 15 other certification organisations.

“Consumers abroad may feel encouraged to buy the products of the certified Bangladeshi companies,” Mr. Abdullah said.

Bangladesh exports rose 41 per cent to $22.92 billion in the fiscal year (FY) 2010-11. Exports of readymade garments constitutes more than 80 per cent of the total exports.

Besides RMG products, exports from Bangladesh include fish, shrimp, raw jute and jute products, leather, leather goods, vegetables, toys etc.

“With 15 experts, trained at home and abroad, the BAB now has the capacity to satisfy the need of the entrepreneurs,” Abdullah said.

He said so long exporters and businessmen of the country sought certificates from some foreign standards organizations for their products. “Now they can get the certification at home,” he added.

Business leaders said certification by the BAB would carry some additional weight, but being a new entity it would have to take some proactive interaction with companies, so that they sought its certification.

“It is good news that certification will be available at home, but I am yet to know in details the BAB, personally,” Mostafa Azad Chy Babu, vice president of Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry told the FE.

Abdullah said BAB was in process to give accreditation to a number of garments, shrimp and medicine firms and also individual experts.

The accreditation will be renewed once in every two years and the BAB often conducts spot visits to ensure that the company is complying with and maintaining the agreed standard, he said.

“As the accredited products and the companies are likely to get more acceptance among international buyers, our exporters should get accredited in the best interest of their businesses,” Abdullah said.

Being an affiliated body the performances of BAB are monitored and assessed by the international standards organizations like the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC).

“So BAB must maintain its standard up to the satisfaction of the international standard organizations,”

“The affiliation with the ILAC, APLAC and PAC, has greatly boosted the acceptance of BAB certification to the international buyers,”

Abdullah said accreditation helps buyers to take prompt decision in selecting risk-free competent suppliers, which can manufacture and supply consignments within agreed costs.

Accreditation to internationally recognised standards can provide a competitive advantage and facilitate access to export markets worldwide.

Abdullah said it is also important for accredited organisations. “In a number of areas, obtaining accreditation before offering certain services is a requirement; in others it is a de facto ‘licence’ to trade,” he said.

Germany keen to import more RMG products

http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&news_id=40478&date=2011-10-04

Germany keen to import more RMG products

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan, Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) President Saiful Islam and Executive Director of BGCCI Daniel Seidl seen, among others, at a diner party hosted at Hotel Breidenbacher Hof in Duesseldorf on Tuesday.

News Report

German businessmen show keen interest to import more Bangladeshi products particularly readymade garments.

This interest was shown at a meeting with the visiting members of the Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) at a dinner party at the Hotel Breidenbacher Hof in Duesseldorf, hosted by McKinsey & Company – the world´s leading top management company – and the Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI).

Today the trade volume between Bangladesh and Germany amounts to over USD 4bn with a trade surplus in favor of Bangladesh.

Germany is Bangladesh’s largest export market in Europe and second largest export destination worldwide. In fact Germany is importing more than 11% of the total textiles and clothing export from Bangladesh and 15% total export of Bangladesh.

New business sectors are coming up and the image of Bangladesh is nowadays increasing in Germany and Europe.

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan attended a dinner party with some leading German RMG buyers who sell textiles products valued at 40 billion US dollars.

Dr. Berg, partner at McKinsey & Company presented its findings on a study called “Bangladesh RMG – The challenge of growth”, which will be published in November 2011.

Bangladesh has become the third-largest supplier for the European clothing market.

Germany is the largest textile and clothing importer in the EU and second largest in the world.

The top managers from companies like Adidas, C&A, NKD, Esprit etc appreciated the chance to discuss with Commerce Minister Faruk Khan and BGCCI President Saiful Islam.

Bangladesh export to USA edges up in July

http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&news_id=40462&date=2011-10-04

Bangladesh export to USA edges up in July

Export earnings from the USA, the largest market for Bangladesh goods, registered a 2.80 percent growth in July of the current fiscal, thanks to the Readymade Garments (RMG) and frozen shrimp for their healthy performance, reports UNB.

It totalled $ 459.13 million this July compared to $ 446.61 million during the corresponding period of the previous year. The amount represents 19.62 percent of the country’s total export earning during the one-month period.

According to recent statistics compiled by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), RMG export to the US, including knitwear, amounted to US$ 427.10 million in July compared to US$ 410.71 million during the corresponding period of last fiscal. The RMG items, including knitwear, witnessed a 3.99 percent growth in the US market.

The major exports to the US market during the period were woven garment ($ 324.50 million), knitwear ($ 102.60 million), frozen shrimp ($ 5.22 million), cap ($ 2.21 million) and home textiles ($ 3.66 million).

During the period, around 36.54 percent of the country’s total woven garment exports entered the US market, followed by knitwear 10.18 percent and frozen shrimp 9.97 percent.

Bangladesh’s export earnings from the US in fiscal 2010-11 totalled $ 5107.52 million representing a 29.29 percent gain from the figure of fiscal 2009-10.

The export earnings in fiscal 2009-10, however, totalled US$ 3.14 billion, a 7.74 percent fall over US$ 3.4 billion in 2008-09, mostly because of the global economic recession.

The RMG export, including knitwear, witnessed a sharp fall of over 6 percent in fiscal 2009-10, fetching US$ 2.9 billion as against US$ 3.1 billion in 2008-09.

The 2009-10 fiscal marked the end of an ups-and-down decade for Bangladesh exports to the US. From a high of US $2.5 billion during the 2000-01 fiscal, exports had fallen below US$ 2 billion by 2003-04.

Exports rose steadily to cross the US$ 3 billion mark in 2005-06, and peaked at nearly US$ 3.6 billion during the 2007-08 fiscal.

Bangladesh must speed up productivity to cut poverty

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=204912

Bangladesh must speed up productivity to cut poverty
Analysts speak at seminar on productivity management
Star Business Report

Bangladesh must boost productivity to free itself of hunger and poverty by 2021 and achieve true development, an economist said yesterday.

“We have to go for enhanced productivity. We have to look at productivity as movement,” said Abul Barkat, a professor of economics at Dhaka University.

“It is not our desired development what we are seeing now. We have to recoup what opportunities we have missed in the last 30 years. We need accelerated development,” he said.

Barkat spoke at a seminar of the “Multilateral Conference on ‘Productivity Movement in Bangladesh: Strategy for 2021” at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka.

Barkat said productivity is a crucial prerequisite for increasing the living standards of people. “Higher per capita incomes reflect the higher levels of productivity,” said the economist during a presentation.

He said productivity is also necessary for macroeconomic management. “It has an effect on inflation, GDP and exports.”

He said the government would have to achieve higher productivity and provide jobs to the people. “In the short-term, productivity suffers if we target to increase employment, as marginal and unskilled workers are recruited.”

Barkat said Bangladesh has to tap its high number of working age people, who makes up 62 percent of the population. “This can give huge dividends.”

The trend shows that productivity of both public and private sectors has not yet surpassed the 2001 level.

Barkat said the labour force in the informal sector accounts for 88 percent of the total labour force. “It is a national challenge to transform them from informal sector to formal sector.”

“Individuals alone will not be able to achieve it. The government, members of civil society and private sector will have to work together to reach the target.”

He said the government should also fix up infrastructure bottlenecks, as “it directly contributes to increasing productivity, facilitate indirectly to increase productivity and also indirectly affects the productivity of other inputs.”

Industries Minister Dilip Barua said: “We have to boost up productivity in the industrial, agriculture and services sectors. When we talk about cost effectiveness we actually talk about productivity. We have to modernise our labour force.”

Prof Shafique-uz-Zaman, who teaches economics at Dhaka University, said the gap between the rich and the poor is actually the gap between productivity and non-productivity.

“We cannot move forward without productivity.”

He said Bangladesh must invest heavily in research and development. “We only spend 0.03 percent of our GDP for R&D. We have to develop skills and generate ideas. Otherwise we will not develop much.”

“We have to increase access to resources and inputs to have higher productivity,” said Toufic Ahmad Chowdhury, general secretary of Bangladesh Economic Association.

The industries ministry and Asian Productivity Organisation Society for Bangladesh jointly organised the event chaired by Industries Secretary KH Masud Siddiqui.

Ryuichiro Yamazaki, secretary general of APO and ABM Khorshed Alam, additional secretary of the industries ministry, also spoke.

Export shows robust growth in first quarter

http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&news_id=40114&date=2011-09-29

Export shows robust growth in first quarter

The country has achieved almost 30 percent growth in export in the first quarter of the fiscal 2011- 12 mainly due to buyers shifting of imports from China and South Korea to Bangladesh and improved compliance to the factories, reports BSS.

According to a primary estimate by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the overall export earning in the first three months of the fiscal surpassed 6400 million US dollar against 5600 million US dollar of the previous year. This is 800 million US dollar higher during the first quarter of the previous year.

“We haven’t received the final data on the three months exports but we are estimating that growth for the three months period would cross over 30 percent”, Jalal Ahmed, EPB Vice Chairman told the news agency on Tuesday.

He said in the current fiscal the country is earning over 2.2 billion US dollar from exports in every month compared to 2 billion US dollar during the same period of the last year.

International buyers mainly from the USA and Europe have increased import of apparels from Bangladesh shifting from China and South Korea, he said.

Jalal said Bangladesh has been competing in both quality and price with other apparels exporters during the last couple of years.

He said the conducive business environment, created by the government in collaboration with the private sector, contributed to the export surge.

“I am not claiming that the country has been able to create cent percent working atmosphere but I can assure that the situation has improved significantly,” Ahmed added.

The EPB Vice-Chairman said though there is no study on productivity of Bangladeshi factories, the production in the factories has significantly improved during the last couple of years.

“If the productivity rate is officially measured it would be found how the Bangladeshi factories have improved production scenario in the context of both quality and price,” Ahmed claimed.

The government has set an export target of 26.5 billion US dollar in the current fiscal (2011-12) against the previous year’s export earning of 22.92 billion US dollar.

All the major Bangladeshi items, including woven, knitwear, textile, footwear and frozen foods, recorded over 30 percent growth during the period, according to the EPB primary data.

Faruk Khan meets German business leaders

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=204600

Faruk Khan meets German business leaders
Star Business Desk

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan met 50 German business leaders at a programme in Germany on Wednesday. They were representatives from the shipping industry, readymade garments, importers, bank, power companies, chamber, media and branding companies.

Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and German Asia Pacific Business Association (OAV) jointly organised the meeting.

Peter Clasen, owner of Wilhelm G Clasen eK and president of the country committee on Bangladesh in OAV, delivered the welcome address.

Khan spoke on the recent achievements of Bangladesh in various sectors. He mentioned that Bangladesh-German trade has been increasing every year, and it exceeded $4 billion last year.

“Bangladesh has now become the third largest apparel supplier in the globe. It has achieved GDP growth of 6 percent which has been increasing.”

He invited German businesspeople to visit Bangladesh and invest in potential sectors like infrastructures, including shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, light engineering and other high tech industries.

Bangladeshi Ambassador to Germany Mosud Mannan, President of Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industries Saiful Islam and its Executive Director Daniel Seidl also spoke.

The minister also invited German businesspeople to visit German Trade Show in Dhaka in October 2011.

Bangladesh third largest apparel exporter to EU

http://www.daily-sun.com/details_ds-bangladesh-third-largest-apparel-exporter-to-eu_349_1_3_1_12.html

Bangladesh third largest apparel exporter to EU
Faruk Khan to hold meetings with German officials, traders
Business Desk

Bangladesh has become the third largest apparel exporter to the European countries and Germany is the largest textile and clothing importer among the EU countries and the second largest in the world.

This was revealed at a report styled “Bangladesh RMG: The challenge of growth”, to be published in November 2011. Dr. Berg, partner at McKinsey & Company presented the first findings on the study, according to a message received here yesterday.

The announcement was made at a dinner hosted yesterday in honour of the leading German RMG sector representatives for sales of Bangladeshi apparels worth US dollar 40 billion.

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan met the representativesat the dinner at Hotel Breidenbacher Hof in Duesseldorf, Germany.

The Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) and McKinsey & Company – the world’s leading top management company organised the function.

Top officials from companies like Adidas, C&A, NKD, Esprit attended the function. They also discussed with Commerce Minister Faruk Khan and BGCCI President Saiful Islam. During the dinner that lasted for more than three hours, the Bangladesh Minister in focused the opportunities and issues related to business in Bangladesh including infrastructure, political unrest, strikes, labor, compliance and raw materials.

“The evening was a big success in branding Bangladesh,” said Daniel Seidl, executive director of BGCCI. During the week long visit in Germany, Faruk Khan is expected to speak to businessmen, investors, media people and government officials of German to improve trade and investment.

Export shows robust growth in first quarter

http://www.bssnews.net/newsDetails.php?cat=2&id=202887&date=2011-09-28

Export shows robust growth in first quarter

DHAKA, Sept 28(BSS)- The country has achieved almost 30 percent growth in export in the first quarter of the fiscal 2011- 12 mainly due to buyers shifting of imports from China and South Korea to Bangladesh and improved compliance to the factories.

According to a primary estimate by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the overall export earning in the first three months of the fiscal surpassed 6400 million US dollar against 5600 million US dollar of the previous year. This is 800 million US dollar higher during the first quarter of the previous year.

“We haven’t received the final data on the three months exports but we are estimating that growth for the three months period would cross over 30 percent”, Jalal Ahmed, EPB Vice Chairman told BSS on Tuesday.

He said in the current fiscal the country is earning over 2.2 billion US dollar from exports in every month compared to 2 billion US dollar during the same period of the last year.

International buyers mainly from the USA and Europe have increased import of apparels from Bangladesh shifting from China and South Korea, he said.

Jalal said Bangladesh has been competing in both quality and price with other apparels exporters during the last couple of years.

He said the conducive business environment, created by the government in collaboration with the private sector, contributed
to the export surge.

“I am not claiming that the country has been able to create cent percent working atmosphere but I can assure that the situation has improved significantly,” Ahmed added.

The EPB Vice-Chairman said though there is no study on productivity of Bangladeshi factories, the production in the factories has significantly improved during the last couple of years.

“If the productivity rate is officially measured it would be found how the Bangladeshi factories have improved production scenario in the context of both quality and price,” Ahmed claimed.

The government has set an export target of 26.5 billion US dollar in the current fiscal (2011-12) against the previous year’s export earning of 22.92 billion US dollar.

All the major Bangladeshi items, including woven, knitwear, textile, footwear and frozen foods, recorded over 30 percent growth during the period, according to the EPB primary data.