Export earnings from India are set to hit four-year low in the outgoing financial year 2013-14 despite Bangladesh’s call to its neighbouring country to reduce trade barriers.
Earnings from India in first 11months of the FY14 accounted for $396.82 million which is 26 per cent lower than the earnings of $536.09 million in July-May of FY 2012-13, the Export Promotion Bureau data showed.
As per the monthly trend of export earnings of around $60 million in last few months the total export in the FY14 might be around $450million-$470 million, which would be lowest in four years.
Export earnings from India were $563.96 million in FY 2012-2013, $498.4 million in FY 2011-12, $512.50 million in 2010-2011 and $304.62 million in 2009-2010.
Former interim government finance adviser Mirza Azizul Islam told New Age on Sunday that if the export in the outgoing FY hit four-year low it would be sad. ‘The government needs to look into whether there was any non-tariff barrier on the part of India,’ he said.
Although Bangladesh has been urging India to reduce massive trade gap with Bangladesh by importing more products from the country, the gap might hit $5 billion at the end of the current FY.
The annual trade gap came slightly down to $4.17 billion in FY 2012-13 from $4.24 billion in FY 2011-12.
Bangladesh Bank is yet to compile trade data with India for July-May, but available data till December showed that the country’s trade gap with India swelled to$ 2.59 billion in the first half of the current FY as the country’s export to India was only $182.48 million against import of $2.78 billion during the period.
EPB data showed that although the garment export increased slightly to $84.47 million in July-May in FY14 against around $67 million during the same period of FY 13, the decline in jute, fish and fruit exports pulled down the overall export figure in the FY14.
Exports of jute and jute-related products fell to only $ 67.51 million in July-May from $128.32 million during the same period last year while exports of fruits and related items fell to $50.10 million from $65.74 million and fish to $4 million from $13.54 million.
EPB vice-chairman Shubhashish Bose attributed the fall in export to India to the currency devaluation of the country against the US dollar. ‘Because of devaluation of rupee many of the Indian importers stopped taking products from Bangladesh because of rise in cost there,’ he said.
Commerce ministry officials, however, said that Bangladeshi products continued to face non-tariff barriers while entering into India despite repeated assurance by the policymakers of the country over the years.
‘We are yet to get full benefits of duty-free access to India. We have been urging the Indian side to facilitate the trade of Bangladeshi products. The issue was also raised during recent visit to Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj,’ said an official.
Sushama at a programme in Dhaka on Thursday assured Bangladesh that India would address the trade imbalance between the two countries.
‘We will work with Bangladesh to move beyond the quota-free and duty-free regime to facilitate trade and address the trade imbalance,’ Sushma said at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies.
-With New Age input