Exports slip after 13 months
Export earnings dropped 6.25 per cent year-on-year to $3.9 billion in September, the first fall in 14 months, as the cost-of-living crisis in the western countries took its toll on Bangladesh’s main foreign currency earning sector.The decline came as the garment shipment, which accounts for about 85 per cent of national exports, went down by 7.52 per cent to $3.16 billion in the month, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). In September, woven exports slipped 5.66 per cent to $1.43 billion while knitwear shipments dipped 9 per cent to $1.73 billion. The contraction in export earnings came as European and American buyers continue to struggle amid higher consumer prices.
The shipment of woven garment items has been displaying a strong rebound because of the improvement in the coronavirus pandemic situation as the people have returned to offices and are going out and attending social events. “We expect that the earnings from the garment sector will rebound strongly from December as international retailers and brands are confirming previously stalled orders,” said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Plastic industry has huge possibility to grow in Bangladesh: Bengal Director
For the last two decades, the use of plastic in the country is continuously rising and it is being a substitute for wood and metal because of its light weight and durability. So there is a huge possibility for the plastic sector to grow here, said MrHumayunKabir, director of the Bengal Plastic Ltd, one of the largest market players in the plastic industry. MrHumayunKabir, also the son of the Bengal Group’s Chairman and founder MrMorshedAlam, came up with his views on the prospect of the industry in an interview with The Business Standard.
Since 2005, Bangladesh’s plastic market has increased five times. Currently, our per capita plastic consumption is 9 kilogrammes.But the consumption is 130kg in developed countries like the US and it is 100kg in Europe.And in Bangladesh, in accordance with the development of people’s standard of living, the consumption of plastic is on the rise. The 9kg per capita consumption is related to only domestic uses of plastic, apart from the industrial and building material.So there is still more room for improvement and a huge opportunity to make the market bigger. Currently, our major challenge is the energy crisis, including gas and electricity. Frequent power shuts are cutting our productivity. In the plastic industry, a one-minute power cut means a loss of one-hour production. The material that remains in the machine gets damaged. We need an uninterrupted power supply. Another challenge is the plastic sector needs continuous investment to remain state-of-the-art in the market. But an investment-friendly financing mode is absent in our country. We need long-term loans. But our policy does not support such loans.
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