FY18 exports post paltry 5.8pc growth

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 11:40pm on July 03, 2018

images

A file photo shows workers sewing clothes at a RMG factory in Dhaka.-- New Age

The country’s export earnings in the just concluded financial year 2017-18 stood $36.66 billion, growing by only 5.8 per cent from $34.65 billion in the previous fiscal year.
The amount of export earnings in the FY 18 is $84 million lower than the government set target of $37.5 billion for the financial year, according to the provisional data of Export Promotion Bureau to be released today. 
EPB officials said that despite moderate growth in shipment of readymade garment products, the drop in exports of non-RMG items like leather and leather goods contributed to the lower growth in overall export earnings in FY18.
Data showed that earnings from RMG sector in the FY18 grew by 8.7 per cent to $30.6 billion from $28.15 billion in the FY17.
EPB sources said that poor export earnings in June, the last month of FY18, also contributed to the lower earnings in the year.
Although total data for June was not available, sources said, export earnings in the month were three per cent lower than the same month of last year.
‘Total export earnings in the FY18 is disappointing and if this growth rate continues, the country will not be able to reach the target of $60 billion export earnings by 2021,’ Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh executive director Ahsan H Mansur told New Age on Tuesday.
He said that economic imbalance was being widened as the country’s export earnings achieved minimal growth while import payments growth was going high.
The government will have to take initiative to increase the export and at the same time import should have to be discouraged to ensure balance in economy, Mansur said.
‘We have to go for diversification of both products and markets to increase export, otherwise $60 billion export target would not be achieved by 2021,’ he added.