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Apparel exports grow by 21pc in July-Nov despite unrest

imagesCountry’s readymade garment sector achieved an export earnings growth of 20.73 per cent in July-November of the current financial year despite political turmoil.

In the five months of the FY 2013-14, the RMG sector fetched $9.65 billion against $8 billion in the same period of the FY 2012-13.

The overall export earnings of the country also grew by 18.02 per cent to $11.96 billion in July-November of the FY14 from $10.13 billion in the same period of the FY13, which is 2.86 per cent higher than the strategic target set by the government, the Export Promotion Bureau data released on Sunday showed.

The EPB data showed the export earnings in November grew by 25.34 per cent to $2.21 billion from $1.76 billion in the same month last year. The earnings in November are 6.05 per cent higher than the target, the data showed.
Experts and exporters said price competitiveness and strong supply chain were the key reasons for the country’s good performance in the export earnings.

They said that the garment exporters could shake off the impact of the Tazreen Fashions fire and the Rana Plaza building collapse and the international buyers were satisfied with the progress in fulfilling the commitments the government made after the deadly disasters.

‘Global buyers are coming forward to help Bangladesh with various safety packages as they want to remain with us due to competitive prices of our products,’ Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies senior research fellow Nazneen Ahmed told New Age on Sunday (22 December 2013).

She said that the international community became convinced that Bangladesh could take care of its labour issue.
‘The buyers will not leave Bangladesh over labour issue, but we have to wait three or four months to see the impact of the current political unrest on the export data as the buyers will not accept fearful situation for long,’ Nazneen said.

According to the EPB data, the export earnings from knitwear in the first five months of the current financial year grew by 20.48 per cent to $4.9 billion against $4.06 billion in the same period of the FY13.

Oven garments accounted for $4.75 billion in earnings with a 21-per cent growth in July-November of the FY14 against $3.92 billion in the same period of the last financial year.

The export earnings from knitwear were 11.04 per cent higher than the government’s target while those from oven garments were 0.41 per cent lower.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Shahidullah Azim said the export data of November did not reflect the current situation.

‘Many buyers are shifting orders to other sources or downsizing their orders due to political unrest in the country and the present situation will be reflected on the data for coming March and April,’ he said.

The export earnings from jute and jute goods including raw jute, jute yarn and twine, jute sacks and bags and others posted a negative growth of 19.80 per cent to $332.40 million in July-November against $414.45 million during the same period last year.

Frozen foods export grew by 36.70 per cent to $324.81 million in the five months of the FY14 from $237.61 million in the same period of the FY13.

Leather exports grew by 49.57 per cent to $194.39 million from $129.97 million.

Footwear exports rose by 36.96 per cent to $238.18 million and leather products exports by 24.34 per cent to $77.95 million.

The agricultural products including tea, vegetables, tobacco, cut flower and foliage, fruits, spices and dry food fetched $229.48 million with a 13.43-per cent growth.

The export earnings from specialised textiles in July-November of the FY14 totaled at $49.51million with a 0.67-per cent growth while home textiles fetched $297.78 million with a 3.79-per cent negative growth.

The export earnings from engineering products including iron steel, copper wire, stainless steel ware, engineering equipment, electric products and bicycle totaled at $153.17 million with a 9.10-per cent growth.


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