The need of the hour is to diversify our export basket
After four consecutive months of negative export growth, it is good to see that Bangladesh has turned it around and registered a 2.69% export growth in December, earning $3.52 billion in comparison to $3.43bn from December 2018.
However, while this turnaround is encouraging, the negative growth of the preceding months is certainly cause for concern, and one that the authorities concerned must not overlook, and it is important for the all the stakeholders to carefully assess just why Bangladesh was experiencing negative export growth in the first place.
One continuous reason for concern is our nation’s over-reliance on its apparel sector, which accounts for close to 85% of total exports -- any tiny fluctuation in the apparel business almost always results in a massive impact on our overall economy.
Those within the apparel industry have complained incessantly about Bangladesh losing competitiveness in the global apparel market, and the sooner we remedy this growing concern, the better it would be for our economy.
Therefore, what is the need of the hour is to identify and invest in other sectors so that we may diversify our export basket.
On that front, what is encouraging is the rise in export earnings from jute and jute products over the past six months, growing an impressive 121.55%.
It is crucial that the authorities get behind jute and identify more sectors that can support the earnings from its apparel industry and make a positive impact.
Bangladesh is at a crucial juncture in its economic trajectory, with lofty aspirations for the very near future. As such, it cannot afford for its export earnings to be teetering between negative and positive growth.