Surge in RMG exports amidst scepticism

Business Report

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While the contrary sits on the growing risk of losing RMG market in the USA and EU market, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) claims that garment exports to non-traditional markets has soared in the first half of the current financial by 37.27 per cent.
It comes as a surprise when the garment exporters were crying of the major setback in exports due to recurring blockades and shutdowns. This in turn has almost stopped shipment due to impediments on movement of shipment cargo in the highways and railways to and from the Chittagong port.
Business leaders were highly critical of the shutdowns for its severe impact on economic activities and especially on exports. But the EPB figure came as a big relief to the nation and BNP and the major opposition may especially claim that despite the shutdown economy really does not suffer any setback. However there is a high scepticism in certain quarters about the veracity of the figure but we stand by the EPB figure since it came from the government.
RPB said RMG export to new markets soared to $1.36 billion against $996.89 million during the same period in 2013. Terming the growth highly encouraging, exporters said that the market diversification was key option for Bangladesh to diminish the dependency on export to the traditional two regions like Europe and America.
They hoped that the newly emerging markets like China, Japan and Russia would give the alternative destinations of Bangladeshi RMG products in the future as the domestic consumption of those countries is on rise.
Of the total export in six months to the non-traditional markets, woven items fetched $743.96 million with 49.68 per cent growth while knitwear amounted to $624.46 million with 24.93 per cent growth.
Despite imposing safeguard duty on imported products from Bangladesh, the Turkish market rebounded and the export earnings in the first half of the FY14 increased to $334.72 million with highest 106.57 per cent growth from $163.04 million in the same period of the FY13.
RMG export to Russia in the first six months of current financial year amounted to $93.93 million with 72.86 per cent growth from $54.34 million in the same period of last financial year as per BGMEA trade information figure.
The overall RMG export growth in all markets was 19.96 per cent at $11.93 billion in the first six months of the FY14 against $ 9.94 billion in the same period of the FY13.
RMG export to Japan increased by 36.95 per cent in the first six months of the current financial year and the earnings stood at $297 million from $216.87 million in the same period of the FY13.
Export to Australia fetched $208.60 million with 4.09 per cent growth which is the third highest export earnings from non-traditional markets.
It rose to China by 60.49 per cent to $110.09 million from July to December last compared to 68.60 million in the same period in the previous fiscal.
RMG export to India increased by 53.39 per cent to $52.85 million compared to $34.45 million in the same period of the FY13.
Bangladeshi RMG exporters are enjoying the duty-free market access to India since September 2011. Among the 11 new destinations — Australia, Chile, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia and Turkey posted phenomenal rise in export. Only export to South Africa and Brazil registered negative growth.
Mohammad Hatem, vice-president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) said last week that buyers from the EU and the US were imposing new conditions on Bangladeshi exporters as they knew Bangladesh’s exports are mainly focused on their markets.
‘We want to reduce the dependency on the EU and the US markets for our own safety and so the new markets can be very helpful for us to maintain the export expansion’ he said.
In 2007, RMG exporters started exploring new markets and they have been working sincerely on this issue since 2010, Hatem said. ‘There might be a number of risk factors in the traditional markets and the new markets may act as protectors,’ he said.

Source: Weekly Holiday

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