Export earning set to fall $2b short of target

Staff Correspondent
A file photo shows an inside view of garment factory in Dhaka as its employees left the workplace after a power outage. The country’s export earnings in the financial year 2014-15 is set to fall around $2 billion short of target as readymade garment exports witnessed sluggish growth because of restructuring of the garment sector and also political turmoil, economists and exporters said. — New Age photo

A file photo shows an inside view of garment factory in Dhaka as its employees left the workplace after a power outage. The country’s export earnings in the financial year 2014-15 is set to fall around $2 billion short of target as readymade garment exports witnessed sluggish growth because of restructuring of the garment sector and also political turmoil, economists and exporters said. — New Age photo

The country’s export earnings in the financial year 2014-15 is set to fall around $2 billion short of target as readymade garment exports witnessed sluggish growth because of restructuring of the garment sector and also political turmoil, economists and exporters said.
The export earnings in the first 10 months of the FY15 stood at $25.30 billion, which is 5.71 per cent short of the target of $26.83 billion, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data released on Tuesday.
With the current trend of $2.3 billion-$2.8 billion monthly export, the country may fetch at best $5.8 billion in the remaining two months of the fiscal year taking the total export earnings to around $31 billion, around $2 billion short of annual target of $33.20 billion, estimated the analysts.
The government has set the export earnings growth target at 10.02 per cent for the current financial year 2014-15 — the lowest target rate since the FY09 when the goal was 15.50 per cent.
The data showed that during July-April of the FY15 country’s export earnings growth was 2.63 higher than the same period of the FY14.
It is unlikely to reach $33.20 billion export earnings target in the FY15 as the export of readymade garments has lost its space in the US market and political unrest hit export oriented sector from the beginning of the year, Centre pr Policy Dialogue executive director Mustafizur Rahman told New Age on Tuesday.
‘Export earnings in the current financial year may fall short of target by $2 billion and the earnings growth will be near to 4 per cent,’ he said.
Mustafiz said that deprecation of euro was one of the reasons for the shortfall in export earnings target.
‘Reaching $33.20 billion export target will be impossible because of the political unrest and due to the impact of back-to-back Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashion fire incidents,’ Exporters Association of Bangladesh president Abdus Salam Murshedy told New Age.
He said that the country’s readymade garment sector witnessed a slowdown in the financial year as global retailers started safety inspections in the sector following the Rana Plaza building collapse.
During the period many small and medium factories were forced to suspend their productions as they failed to meet tough conditions enforced by the retailers’ platforms, Murshedy said.
‘We are not concerned about the missing of export earnings target, but we are hopeful that we could overcome the situation as we are developing our industry,’ he said.
Earnings from readymade garments in July-April period fetched $20.56 billion against its target of $26.89 billion for the current fiscal year.
As per the EPB data, export earnings from woven fall short of target by 4.53 per cent to $10.55 billion in the first 10 months of current financial year while knitwear exports stood at $10 billion which is 6.3 per cent short of its target.
According to Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, a former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, it is obvious that if the RMG sector fails to achieve its target, the overall export earnings will miss the target as the RMG sector contributes to 81 per cent of the total export earnings.
‘It is not surprising that the export earnings in the current fiscal year may fall short of its target as the safety inspection of European and North American retailer groups is holding the sector back,’ he said.
The country’s export earnings also missed its target by 1.06 per cent in the FY14.
In the FY14, the exports grew by 11.65 per cent to $30.17 billion year-on-year missing the target of $30.5 billion, according to the EPB data.

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