Bangladesh’s exports hit a record high of $52.08 billion in the just-ended fiscal year, giving the country much-needed respite amid continued volatility in the exchange rate regime, officials said. official figures released yesterday.
It’s the first time overseas sales have topped the $50 billion mark, comfortably surpassing the $43.5 billion target set for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
In FY22, revenue rose 34.38% from a year ago, when exporters brought in $38.76 billion, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
In June alone, shipment was $4.908 billion, up 37.19% year on year, and the highest on record in a single month. The previous record was set in December last year, when profits stood at $4.907 billion.
Record export earnings would reassure the government struggling to maintain macroeconomic stability amid soaring import bills caused by rising global commodity prices, soaring consumer prices, falling foreign exchange reserves, remittances and local currency value and low revenue collection.
As usual, apparel shipments, which account for about 85% of national revenue from international sources, were the main contributor to the highest export.
Some other sectors such as leather and leather goods, jute and jute goods, and home textiles also contributed, and each brought in more than $1 billion.
Apparel shipments grew 35.47% year-over-year in FY22, bringing in $42.61 billion. Of that, $23.21 billion came from knitwear shipments, up 36.88%. Woven apparel shipments rose 33.82% to $19.39 billion, according to EPB data.
Home textiles brought in $1.62 billion, an increase of 43.28% from a year ago, as demand increased significantly as people spend even more time indoors than outside. past, because the coronavirus has not yet been eliminated.
Revenue from the shipping of leather and leather goods, often cited as one of the most promising sectors after apparel, was $1.24 billion, registering an annual growth of 32.23% .
Exports of jute and jute articles, however, declined by 2.91% despite generating $1.12 billion. And exporters hope the sector will soon return to the black as demand for products made from the natural fiber is on the rise.
Faruque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow of the Center for Policy Dialogue, described FY22 export earnings as a benchmark for Bangladesh.
“The important thing is that more than $8 billion comes from sectors other than apparel, indicating that product diversification is happening gradually,” Rahman said.
The famous economist believes that Bangladesh has ample scope to diversify its product baskets, even in the clothing sector.
“We should explore this to continue the robust growth in export earnings.”
According to Rahman, total revenue from shipping goods was high, as international retailers and brands had to raise prices for goods sourced from Bangladesh taking into account the high cost of raw materials.
For example, the price of cotton increased by 51% last year.
Profits, however, are volume-driven, not value-driven, the economist said.
“It’s very important to know how much export revenue we can keep in the country.”
In order to maintain robust export growth, Bangladesh needs to explore clothing items other than cotton, and the government should provide incentives for products made from the artificial raw material to encourage exporters to capture a fair share. 700 billion dollars worldwide. market, Rahman added.
In 2015, the BGMEA set a garment export target of $50 billion by 2021 to mark the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence.
“But we couldn’t reach the target because of Covid-19. However, we plan to reach the milestone in 2023,” Hassan said, urging the government to continue supporting the garment sector so that can maintain the growth momentum.
Md Saiful Islam, president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expects exports to reach $80 billion by 2024.
If the government can build the central effluent treatment plant in the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate and local exporters can obtain certification from the Leather Working Group, the global environmental compliance and certification body for the leather and of leather goods, the leather sector of Bangladesh will be very successful. in the near future, said the entrepreneur.
Agricultural products, frozen and live fish, terry towels, footwear, furniture, bicycles, pharmaceuticals and cotton yarn also performed well in the global market in the past fiscal year. to end.