Bangladesh to clock record GDP growth: BB
DHAKA, Dec 28: Bangladesh’s central bank said Tuesday the country was on track to achieve a record 6.7 per cent economic growth this financial year, driven by an impressive turnaround in garment exports. The Bangladesh Bank said economic activity had gained momentum since the start of the financial year in July, with exports posting 37 per cent growth in the four months to October thanks to a huge rise in garment orders.
Imports were also up 37 per cent, reflecting rising domestic demand, and imports of industrial machinery grew 36 per cent, indicating a major expansion in the country’s manufacturing sector.
The global economic crisis drove gross domestic product (GDP) growth to a seven-year low of 5.8 per cent in the year to July 2010.
“If the trend continues, the country will achieve 6.7 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product in the current financial year and seven per cent in the medium term from 2012,” the bank said in a statement midway through the financial year.
Bangladesh previously clocked its highest annual GDP growth rate in the 2006 fiscal year, when the economy expanded by 6.6 per cent.
Exporters said they have been flooded with export orders of clothing from European Union countries and North America, with major retailers like Wal-Mart, Gap and H&M making the country a key source for their low-cost products.
Ready-made garments for top Western brands make up 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s annual export earnings and employ some 40 per cent of the country’s industrial workforce.