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Ceramics, plastic exports rise to US braving GSP suspension

2012-01-16_828637The export of ceramics grew by 43 per cent and that of plastic products by 28 per cent to the US market in the just concluded financial year 2013-14 despite the suspension of generalised system of preferences in the market.

On June 27 last year, United States suspended trade privileges for Bangladesh because of concerns over labour rights and worker safety that intensified after hundreds of workers died in a series of disasters in the country’s garment industry.

After suspension of the GSP facilities, leaders of export-oriented ceramic, plastic and jute goods sectors feared drastic fall in export to the US market as the sectors were entitled for the facility.

The readymade garment, a major export item of Bangladesh, was not entitled for the GSP in the US market.

Overcoming the fear of the exporters the export earnings from ceramics grew to $8.16 million in the FY14 from $5.71 million in the FY13 while those from plastic products increased to $4.66 million from $3.61 million, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data.

‘We could maintain the export growth by providing some facilities to the buyers including price cut,’ Rizvi Ul Kabir, former secretary general of the Bangladesh Ceramic Wares Manufacturers Association, told New Age on Monday.

The export growth might have surpassed 70 per cent if the US did not suspend the GSP facilities, he said.

Sahedul Islam Helal, former president of the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that despite the suspension of trade facility the export of Bangladeshi plastic goods to the US market increased due to price competitiveness.

He said that the plastic makers started to make their factories compliant with the aim of retaining the existing export markets in the US and the European Union.

Jute export, however, dropped slightly after the GSP suspension.

The exports of jute and jute goods to the US decreased to $16.28 million in FY14 from $16.49 in FY13, data showed.

The EPB data showed that the export earnings from tobacco and tobacco products grew by 91.97 per cent to $10.93 million in the FY14 from $5.69 million in the FY13.

Tobacco and tobacco products had enjoyed the GSP facilities in the US market.

The total export to the US in the FY14 grew by 3.02 per cent to $5.58 billion from $5.41 billion in FY13.

The export of readymade garment totalled $5.14 billion with a 2.9-per cent growth from about $5 billion in the FY13.

Report: Moinul Haque
Source: New Age

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