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RMG exports witnessed 8.76% growth in FY18

Overall exports increased 5.81% in FY18

According to the data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country’s overall exports grew 5.81 percent in the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18 (FY18) to $36.67 billion from $34.65 billion of the fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17) riding on the higher shipment of garment products.

RMG exports growth FY 18
Figure 1: EPB data showed Bangladesh’s export earnings from the RMG sector stood at $30.61billion, posting 8.76% growth in the last fiscal year.

The amount of export earnings in the FY18 is $84 million lower than the government set a target of $37.5 billion for the financial year.

“Our export is heavily dependent on garment products and the contribution of this sector to the export is increasing day by day. For achieving higher growth, we have to explore new markets along with diversification of export products,” explained General Secretary of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA), Dr. Jamal Uddin Ahmed.

He suggested giving more attention to export products having scope for higher value addition.

Abdus Salam Murshedi, President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB), said, “The garments sector performed better due mainly to political stability and the government give policy support and incentive for diversification of export items to increase overall exports of the country.”

According to the EPB’s latest data, both the export earnings and growth of the garment sector surpassed the target in FY18. Export of garments products registered an 8.76 percent growth to $30.61 billion, which was 1.51 percent higher from the fiscal’s target of $30.16 billion.

In FY17, the country earned $28.15 billion by exporting garments items. In FY16, Bangladesh earned $28.09 billion from the clothing industry.

RMG exports growth trend in the last 5 years
Figure 2: RMG exports growth trend in the last 5 years.

“Total export earnings in the FY18 are disappointing and if this growth rate continues, the country will not be able to reach the target of $60 billion export earnings by 2021,” said, Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, Executive Director, Ahsan H Mansur.

Also Read: Bangladesh RMG industry shows a sea change on safety transformation

He also said, “Economic imbalance was being widened as the country’s export earnings achieved minimal growth while import payments growth was going high.”

“The government will have to take initiative to increase the export and at the same time import should have to be discouraged to ensure balance in the economy,” he added.

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