Readymade garment exports to 10 out of 11 non-traditional markets rose significantly in the first half of the current fiscal year, showed Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association data.
The rise in export to new markets like Australia, Japan, Russia and Brazil is an encouraging sign for the entrepreneurs, said manufacturers.
Total exports to 11 new destinations stood at $996.89 million in July-December, up 24.11 per cent from $803.24 million during the same period of last financial year, according to the BGMEA data.
Export to the EU, the major export destination of the country, grew by 5.33 per cent to $5,819 million while export to the US rose by only 2.85 per cent to $2,274.82 million in July-December.
After the beginning of the financial crisis in Europe in 2007, RMG exporters of Bangladesh had started exploring new markets to overcome negative growth and found out Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey as potential alternatives.
Although exports to Turkey registered a negative growth of 8.33 per cent in July-December compared with the same period of last fiscal year, the rise in exports to 10 markets took the total growth figure to 24.11 per cent.
Turkish government’s imposition of 17.5 per cent safeguard duty on imported products from Bangladesh affected exports but the volume of $162 million is still good, said exporters.
Export to the Russian market showed the highest growth as it stood at $54.34 million with a 70.07 per cent rise during the first half of the current financial year.
The exporters expect that the increasing volume of export to non-traditional markets would be able to eliminate the risk of negative growth in European markets that had been prevailing following the economic depression since 2007.
The export earnings from non-traditional markets had increased by 172 per cent to $2.31 billion in the last four years, BGMEA’s RDI cell data showed.
Md Siddiqur Rahman, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, told New Age that export growth in non-traditional markets was increasing gradually, contributing to 12 per cent of the total RMG export.
He said that the government and the entrepreneurs were working together to increase export volume to non-traditional markets as there were enormous potential in Russia, China, Japan and Latin America.
Urging the government to keep awarding 2 per cent incentive for the new markets, Siddiqur said, ‘We will continue to explore the new export destinations and the incentive would be helpful to penetrate the markets.’
Mohammad Hatem, vice-president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, said non-traditional markets could be more promising destinations for the Bangladeshi exporters and it could help the sector recover from the bad patch in the traditional markets like the US, Europe and Canada.
Hatem said he expected a tremendous export growth in non-traditional markets as Russia, China and Japan were keen to source from Bangladesh.
‘Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan import RMG products worth $13 billion every year to meet their domestic demands and if we could grab a portion of that, the whole scenario in this sector would change,’ he added.
Of the total export to non-traditional markets in the first half of the current fiscal year, woven items registered a 19.25 per cent growth, fetching $497.04 million while knitwear recorded 29.35 per cent growth, bringing home $499.86 million.
Courtesy of New Age