Trade officials expect double digit export growth
Kazi Zahidul Hasan
Bangladesh’s export sectors could have to achieve a double-digit growth in the current fiscal spurred by low-wage and favourable state support despite the ongoing global economic contraction that slowed down demand for local merchandise in world market, trade officials said on Thursday.
They said that local shipments are heavily dependent on the Western markets epecially to the European Union and the US, which are facing a severe economic crisis that affected on demand side of local goods in the markets.
In the fiscal 2010-11, exports hit a record-breaking growth of over 40 per cent followed by the sharp rise in global trade volumes coupled with competitive price of local merchandise in world market.
“The financial crisis and global recession continue to have an impact on the export sectors, but, it will have to manage a double digit export growth capitalizing low-wage and the government’s policy support on export promotion,” said a senior official of commerce ministry.
He said exports of readymade garments (RMG) remain unaffected in the European Union and a sluggish growth was visible the US market.
“Export grow in the traditional markets is not up to the mark, but growth prospect of new markets are quite impressive,” he noted.
Earlier, the government had provided five per cent cash incentives to the exporters for the development of new export markets. “Besides, the local exporters are still enjoying a comparative advantage than their competitors capitalizing lower workers’ wages,” he added.
“Overall export value may be fallen in relation with price cut of local merchandise offered by the global buyers as a result of global economic crisis. But the falling value may not affect the double digit export growth,” he added.
The official, however, said being an integral part of global economy, Bangladesh’s export growth may be lowered comparatively from that of the previous year due to sluggish demand from major markets.
Economists believe the recent series of important events around the world led a greater degree of uncertainty of global trade and thus created an uneasiness to the export sectors cutting demands of local goods in the international market.
“The hangover of the global financial crisis must have a knock-on effect on our export sectors as it will influence a large drop in global trade. Besides, developed economies like Europe will keep fuelling protectionist pressures and thus will help to fade our export growth significantly,” said an expert. He opined that competitiveness and productivity of export-oriented industries are keys in maintaining a steady growth in global market.
The country’s overall exports grew by 17.33 per cent year-on-year to $9709.75 million during July-November period of the current fiscal sliding from 20.79 per cent during July-October, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) figures. Export earnings totaled at $8118.51 million during the July-October period of the current fiscal (2011-12).