Exports rise 41pc
Refayet Ullah Mirdha
High demand coupled with a recovery from global recession has pushed up six months’ exports.
During July-December of the current fiscal year, exports soared 41 percent, compared with the same period a year ago, according to the latest data released by the Export Promotion Bureau yesterday. In the first six months, Bangladesh shipped goods worth $10.26 billion.
In December alone, the country earned $1.99 billion.
The combined export growth of both knitwear and woven garment rose 42.09 percent in the period compared with the same period a year ago.
Bangladesh exported knitwear worth $4.31 billion in the six months, registering 43.39 percent growth. The country earned $3.63 billion in woven garment exports during the period, which means 40.79 percent growth.
Shipbuilding is another bright spot, as the sector fetched $18.02 million from exports of ocean-going vessels. The sector recorded 1,924 percent growth.
Monoj Kumar Roy, joint secretary (export) of the commerce ministry, said every sector showed a positive trend with the recovery from the financial meltdown.
China is losing its market for higher production costs and a shortage of workers in its garment sector. “This is part of the reason exports from Bangladesh went high,” Roy said.
Salim Osman, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said many orders have shifted from China to Bangladesh.
“Also, the export of garment products is increasing in some new destinations. As a result, we are getting more markets and more value,” he said.
Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the increased price of per unit of apparel item also contributed to the higher growth.
Although the prices of raw materials such as cotton and yarn have gone up on the international market, buyers are paying high for the finished products, he said. “As a result, the overall growth was higher.”
“Such high growth will continue in future as the orders are shifting to Bangladesh from other competing countries,” Parvez added.
Saiful Islam, chairman of Western Marine Shipyard Ltd, a leading shipbuilder, said the export of ocean-going vessels went high, as the growth in the sector was almost zero before.
“My company exported two vessels recently, and from now, I can export one ship per two months as I have abundant orders.”