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EPB sets $37bn export target for FY: 2020-21

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has set a $37.44-billion export target for fiscal year (FY) 2020-21, 13 percent higher than the expected export receipts to reach $33 billion by the end of current fiscal year, 2019-20. The initial target for the outgoing fiscal was $45.50 billion.

As per the target, the ready-made garment (RMG) sector will contribute more than 82 percent. Additionally service export will contribute $7.6 billion. However, EPB has prepared this proposal and sent to the commerce ministry without consulting the concerned stakeholders in this regards.

The apparel industry has witnessed 82 percent and 62 percent negative growth in April and May respectively this year compared to last year’s April and May. Total export earnings during July-May fell by 17.99 percent to $30.99 billion, from $33 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.

EPB officials said that the global demand for the products has been considered during the coronavirus epidemic. The EPB, however, has forecasted that exports would reach $33 billion by the end of June.

Bangladesh fetched $34.13 billion from RMG export in FY ’19 marking 11.49-per cent growth over that in FY ’18. The compound annual growth rate of apparel export in the past five years has been 6.86 percent.

Rubana Huq, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said in this regard, “We are almost at the end of this fiscal. Until June 27, the total RMG export reached $27.50 billion, which was $34.13 billion during the same period last year.”

By the end of June, the year-end export figure might reach $27.60 to $27.65 billion, which would indicate more than 19 percent fall in RMG export, she added.

The export sectors need government policy support to overcome the pandemic’s impact and sustain, she opined.

According to the business leader, such a decline has not yet been detected in the history of the industry. Exports fell $6.6 billion in the current fiscal year, close to a fifth of last year.

The RMG sector experienced a 4.6 billion export decline in the just three months from April to June 2020, exacerbating the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.

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Editorial on “Time to rewrite the fashion industry”
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