Bangladesh second in export growth: WTO

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - Vietnam, which is also one of the top garment exporters worldwide, topped the list with a 14.6 per cent export growth while Bangladesh gained 9.8 per cent.

Bangladesh has achieved the second highest export growth globally over the past decade (2008-2018) and the highest among South Asian nations thanks to the spiralling apparel shipment, according to World Statistics Review 2019.

Vietnam, which is also one of the top garment exporters worldwide, topped the list with a 14.6 percent export growth while Bangladesh gained 9.8 percent, according to the flagship annual report of the World Trade Organisation.

Exports of two giant economies, China and India, grew by 5.7 percent and 5.3 percent respectively. Bangladesh exceeded the export growth of many leading economies like China, India, Brazil and Turkey and some developing nations because of the high volume of garment export.

“Bangladesh’s exports of apparel and clothing more than trebled between 2008 and 2018,” the WTO said. Vietnam’s exports of electrical machinery increased almost 30-fold between 2008 and 2018, according to the report. Bangladesh is now the 42nd largest exporter and 30th largest importer of the world, the data said.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh main-tained the title of second largest garment exporter worldwide grabbing 6.4 percent of the trade while China maintained its dominance occupying 31.3 percent despite a slight decline in the growth in 2018.

The share of Vietnam in apparel trade grew to 6.2 percent, India 3.3 percent and Turkey 3.1 percent, according to data of the WTO.

With the high achievement of export receipts last fiscal year, the government on Wednesday set a new export target for the current fiscal year at $54 billion, of which $45.50 billion is expected from merchandise export and $8.50 billion from services export.

The overall export growth has been fixed 15.20 percent higher than the achievements last fiscal year. 

In merchandise export, the growth rate has been fixed at 12.25 percent higher than that attained last fiscal year while in services 34.10 percent.

Md Mofizul Islam, senior secretary to the commerce ministry, announced the targets after a meeting with businesspeople and leaders of trade bodies and business chambers at his secretariat office in Dhaka.

The target for the new fiscal year has been fixed on the achievements of the immediate past fiscal year.  

World economic outlooks, government policy supports, changes in the dollar exchange rate, market and product diversification, supply side capacity, improvement of safety standards in garment factories and effects of the US-China trade war have been taken into consideration during fixing of the target, Islam said. Last fiscal year receipts from merchandise shipment amounted to $40.53 billion and services sector $6.33 billion. 

Overall exports had registered a 14.30 percent growth, 10.55 percent in goods shipments and 46.06 percent in services sector. As usual, the highest export target has been fixed for the garment sector in the current fiscal year at $38.20 billion, which is 11.91 percent higher than the achievement of last fiscal year.

Of the amount, $18.85 billion has been targeted from knitwear and $19.35 billion from the woven sector. Last year Bangladesh exported garment items worth $34.13 billion, registering a 11.49 percent year-on-year growth. 

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