Bangladesh export earnings rise despite drop in remittances


According to the latest figures released by the Export Promotion Bureau, earnings in the first four months of the fiscal (Jul-Oct) has gone up 6.53 percent.

As usual, the readymade garment sector largely drove the growth.

In the same period, remittances registered a 15 percent drop, but the foreign currency reserves grew, which analysts attributed to the growth in export.

In October, Bangladesh’s export earnings were $2.71 billion, 13.49 percent more than the same month last year, and it is almost 3 percent higher than the target.

Analysts and exporters say a stable political situation has contributed to the uptick in exports.

On the other hand, Bangladesh received around $4.26 billion in the first four months (July-October) of the 2016-17 fiscal. The figure was down 15.42 percent from a little over $5.03 billion received in the corresponding period last year.

The October remittance, $1.01 billion, is 4.23 percent less than that of September and 8 percent less than last year’s October remittance. Remittance contributed 13 percent of the gross national product of 2015.

Apparel exporters’ body BGMEA’s Vice President Nasir Uddin said they hope that the trend will continue and that exports will grow by 10 percent by the end of the fiscal.

“But we are facing tough competition as the price of Bangladesh-made apparel has gone down in the global market. We are now exporting more but making less money,” he told

Economist Zaid Bakht said the panic within RMG buyers after the July terror attack has apparently faded away.

“There has been no such incident in the last few months and the political situation is also stable, which holds the key to achieving higher exports,” he said.

In the first four months of the 2016-17 fiscal (Jul -Oct), Bangladesh’s exports yielded $10.79 billion and the readymade garment sector accounted for 82 percent of it.

Knitwear exports registered the highest growth in first quarter. It rose by 8.75 percent to fetch $4.53 billion.

“No other country can match Bangladesh’s price in apparel and that’s why our export will continue to grow,” said Bakht, a research director at the Bangladesh Institute of
Development Studies (BIDS).

Exports also rose in leather and leather goods, jute and jute goods, frozen fish, pharmaceuticals and many other sectors in October.

In the last 2015-16 fiscal, Bangladesh earned $34.25 billion in exports, up by 10 percent from the previous year.

The export target for 2016-17 fiscal has been set at $37 billion.

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