The country’s export items for their superior quality have started getting a toehold in the Asian region. Exports to Japan rose by 11.73 percent to $1.13 billion in fiscal 2017-18.
It may be noted that the figure was $1.02 billion in fiscal 2016-17. Although the country fetched the higher export earnings from Japan in the Asian region in the last fiscal, its export earnings from the region in general declined by 1.25 percent to $4.11 billion in last year over $4.16 billion in fiscal year 2016-17.
It was followed by India ($873.27 million), China ($694.96 million), Hong Kong ($312.89 million), Korea ($254.84 million), Malaysia ($232.42 million) and Singapore ($125.75 million) in the 2017-2018 fiscal. Experts said Japan has of late been providing market access to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), including Bangladesh, for 97.90 percent products, a measure which has largely pushed up the level of exports to Japan. Meat and dairy products, eggs, vegetables and plants, cereals and starch, and other food preparations are not included in the tariff-free product list of Japan.
In 2011, the country also extended the effective period of the GSP scheme for 10 years until March 31, 2021. Apparel items cover more than 80 percent of the total exports of Bangladesh. Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB), told Bangladesh Post that export earnings from Japan have recently increased, which is good news for Bangladesh.
He noted that the country now is capable of making the best quality products at low prices, which will help enhance export earnings even more from developed countries and thus give a boost to the country’s economy. Although the country’s overall exports growth from the Asian region is not yet satisfactory, export earnings from the region, including Japan, India and Korea, have significantly increased in recent months.
Murshedy was of the view that the government should reduce trade barriers with the Asian region by engaging in discussions with other countries and take some initiatives to increase exports in the Asian region.
In order to boost exports inflow further, the government should focus on different destinations by diversifying the country’s products, economists have said.
They urged the authorities to diversify products and expand the market for boosting our export earnings alongside learning how to add value to products and increase the RMG share.
BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman told Bangladesh Post, “Export earnings maintained a positive growth in the last fiscal in Japan as the apparel shipment rose significantly in Japan.”
He said, Bangladesh is now in the top position among the top performing environment-friendly readymade garment (RMG) industries across the world, thus rebuilding buyers’ confidence to invest more in the RMG sector.
Bangladesh has been shifting towards making high-value products, which is generating interest among foreign buyers about ordering more from Bangladesh.
He stated that the country needs some fiscal support from the government, including reducing the time frame to discharge export items from ports as well as improving communication systems which can help boost the export flow further.