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Apparel exports rise despite odds

exportsGarment exports increased almost 19 percent year-on-year in the July-October period despite some domestic odds.

Between July and October, garment exports stood at $7.89 billion in contrast to $6.63 billion recorded for the period last year, according to data from Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the garment makers’ platform, said the figures could have been enhanced further were there no industrial disasters like the Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse.

He, however, expects the full impact of the twin accidents to be felt in the next three months’ export figures, if the declining trend for issuance of certificates of utilisation declaration (UD) in October is any indication.

The BGMEA vice-president’s reservations, however, are not unfounded as garment exports in the month of October dropped 21.46 percent from September to $1.68 billion.

Meanwhile, Shubhashish Bose, vice-chairman of EPB, was “very buoyant??? following the export performance over the four-month period, which was an improvement of 16.47 percent over last year’s. Export earnings between July and October stood at $9.74 billion.

If the current export trend continues, fiscal 2013-14?s export target of $30.5 billion would be easily achievable, according to Bose.

“Exports might drop in the odd month or two, but the trend is very much in the positive territory,??? he said, while citing the case of October.

In October, exports dropped 18.19 percent from the preceding month to $2.12 billion. The figure, although an improvement of 2.03 percent over October of 2012, missed the month’s export target by 6.23 percent.


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