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Bangladesh to set export target of $39 billion for FY19

  • Published at 12:20 am August 8th, 2018
The government expects the majority of the export target to be met by the RMG sector Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh’s export earnings rose by 5.8% to $36.66 billion in the last fiscal year, while the country earned $34.65 billion from exports in FY17

The Bangladesh government is going to set the export target at $39 billion for FY19, amounting to 6.36% growth for the current fiscal year.

Bangladesh’s export earnings rose by 5.8% to $36.66 billion in the last fiscal year, while the country earned $34.65 billion from exports in FY17. 

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed will officially set the target at a meeting scheduled to be held at his office in Dhaka today.

The information was disclosed to the Dhaka Tribune by a credible source at the Commerce Ministry, who asked to remain anonymous.

The export target will be set after considering the world economic outlook, policy changes at important export destinations, stakeholder feedback, supply chain capacity, changes in exchange rates, and global business trends.

The export target will be set with a focus on the Readymade Garment (RMG) sector, while the government plans to set a higher growth target for non-RMG sectors, the source said.

Of the total target, $32.69 billion or 83.49% is expected to be earned from the apparel sector.

According to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh’s export earnings from the RMG sector stood at $30.61billion in the last fiscal year, posting 8.76% growth.

In FY17, Bangladesh’s export earnings registered 0.2% growth to $28.15 billion, the lowest in the last decade and a half.

Of the total amount, Knitwear products earned $15.18 billion, which is 10.40% higher than the $13.76 billion earned the previous year. Woven products earned $15.42 billion, up by 7.18% from the $14.39 billion earned the year before.

“A target of $32.69 billion is very easy to achieve, as we have buyer approved capacity. We may even be able to surpass the target, as buyer confidence in Bangladesh has improved due to the improvement in safety standards,” Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) president, Abdus Salam Murshedy, told the Dhaka Tribune.

However, the government has to ensure a business friendly environment in the country so that manufacturers can conduct business without interruption, he added.     

Meanwhile,the  Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Research Director, Khondaker Golam Moazzem, said: “As a growing economy, Bangladesh should focus on product diversification, but this is not reflected in the target. The target will increase the apparel sector’s contribution to overall exports earnings.” 

For the diversification of products and reducing dependency on the apparel industry, Moazzem suggested the identification of five sectors which would be able to earn over $1 billion in the next five years.

“The government has to provide proper policy support to these emerging sectors and engage commercial wings abroad to explore new markets and buyers,” he said.  

Commerce Ministry sources further said the government is going to set the export target for the service sector at $4.6 billion for FY19.

Earlier, EPB sent a proposal to the Commerce Ministry recommending a $40 billion export target for FY19, amounting to 7.14% growth.