Exports grow 40pc

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Exports grow 40pc

Workers iron clothes at a garment factory in Gazipur. Woven garment exports grew 37.95 percent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period a year ago.Photo: STAR

Star Business Report

Exports grew by 40.28 percent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period a year ago, the government said yesterday.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country exported goods worth $14.08 billion during July-February of fiscal 2010-11, up from $10.31 billion in the same period of 2009-10.

In February alone, exports grew by 43.33 percent to $1.89 billion, compared to the same month of the previous year, according to government data.

The EPB report shows exports of major products — knitwear, woven, jute and jute goods, home textile, frozen foods, shrimp, leather goods — have grown significantly during July-February period.

Among the major exported products, in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, the knitwear sector earned $5.80 billion, which is a 43.93 percent rise from the same period in the previous year.

Woven garment exports grew 37.95 percent to $5.13 billion, compared to the same-year-ago-period. At the same time, products such as tea, chemical products, bicycle, furniture, engineering products and petroleum by-products showed negative growth.

However, EPB set a target to earn $18.5 billion for the current fiscal year, which is 14.16 percent more than the actual earnings last year. During 2009-10, the total export earnings were $16.2 billion against a target of $17.6 billion, which was 4.11 percent higher than the 2008-2009 earnings.

On the growth of exports of the country, EPB vice-chairman Jalal Ahmed said 40 percent export growth has been maintained over the last few months, which is a positive sign in the overseas trade of the country.

The export of jute and jute goods has been increasing thanks to higher demand, part of the reason for higher growth in exports out of Bangladesh. The export of jute and jute goods grew by 51.04 percent to $734.39 million during July-February compared to the same period of the last year.

Moreover, the exports to the EU are growing significantly because of relaxed rules of origin under the generalised system of preferences (GSP), Ahmed said. The EU’s relaxed rules for the least developed countries came into effect from January 1.

Exports are increasing mainly for higher exports to new destinations and because buyers are shifting to Bangladesh from China, the largest apparel supplying country worldwide, said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

But the steady export growth is dependent on uninterrupted supply of gas and power to the industrial units and improved port management system, he added.

Salim Osman, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, linked the export growth to product diversification. Buyers have now more choices in Bangladesh, which was not possible earlier, he said.

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