The country’s readymade garment exports to the European Union in the first half of the current financial year 2019-20 fell by 6.75 per cent while the export earnings from the United States decreased by 3.67 per cent due to the on-going slowdown of the global economy.
Experts and exporters said that although the readymade garment exports in December 2019 achieved a minimal growth, the major export markets for Bangladeshi products including the US, Germany and the United Kingdom, had still been suffering from the impacts of the US-China trade war and Brexit.
They also said that the world economy had started recovering but at a very slow pace and it would take time for Bangladesh’s export earnings to rebound.
Both the exporters and the experts emphasised on policy support to the export sector to enhance competitiveness on the global market.
RMG export to the EU in the July-December period of FY20 decreased to $9.82 billion from $10.53 billion in the same period of FY19, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data.
It showed that earnings from the RMG export to the US, the single largest export destination for Bangladeshi products, in the first half of FY20 fell to $2.98 billion from $3.09 billion in the same period of the last fiscal.
Overall export earnings from the US in the period fell by 3.43 per cent to $3.33 billion from $3.45 billion in the last fiscal.
Export earnings from Germany, the second largest export destination for Bangladesh, in the first half of FY20 decreased by 9.46 per cent to $2.83 billion from $3.12 billion in the same period of FY19.
RMG export to Germany in the period fell by 10.33 per cent to $2.65 billion from $2.95 billion, the data showed.
Export earnings from the UK, the third largest export destination for Bangladeshi products, in the JulyDecember period of FY20 decreased by 0.83 to $2.02 billion from $2.04 billion in the same period of FY 19.
‘Buyers and retailers have reduced both the quantity of orders and the prices of apparel products in Bangladesh as the products imported last year had remained unsold at their stores due to economic slowdown,’ acting president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association Mohammad Hatem told New Age on Thursday.
Increase in online sales of apparel products was also another reason why western retailers had unsold products unsold at the stores, he said.
Hatem also said that Bangladesh had failed to secure the required quantity of orders and those were going to Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar as the country’s (Bangladesh) RMG sector was losing its price competitiveness.
According to the EPB data, apparel exports to Poland, however, grew by 16.35 per cent to $584.74 million in the first half of this fiscal from $502.58 million in the same period of the last fiscal.
Overall export to India grew by 4.44 per cent to $695.53million in the first six months of FY20 while RMG export to the market grew by 4.91 per cent to $284.15 million.
RMG export to Spain fell by 1.69 per cent, France by 7.95 per cent, Canada by 11.47 per cent, Italy by 13.13 per cent and Japan by 3.29 per cent in July-December of FY20.
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