Country’s export earnings in the immediate past 2017-18 fiscal year stood at $36.66 billion, which is 2.22 percent lower than the target of $37.5 billion.
Despite missing the target, export earnings in FY 18 posted a 5.8 percent rise compared to the previous fiscal’s income of $34.65 billion.
Sector insiders and officials at Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) said RMG exports saw a moderate growth in 2017-18 fiscal, but a fall in exports of non-RMG items like leather and leather goods caused the shortfall against the target.
According to the EPB data, earnings from RMG sector in 2017-18 (July-June) grew by 8.7 per cent to $30.6 billion from $28.15 billion in FY17. RMG export was 1.51 percent higher than the target of $30.1 billion in FY 18.
Second largest earnings sector leather and leather products fell 21.34 short of the target of $1.3 billion. Leather and leather sector fetched $1.08 billion, which was 12.03 percent lower than the exports posted in FY17.
Other potential sectors including jute and jute goods, frozen and live fish and engineering products also fell short of the export target in FY 18 by 2.79 percent, 4.97 percent and 59.37 percent respectively.
Jute and jute products earned $1.02 billion against its target of $1.05 billion while frozen and live fish sector fetched $508 million against the target of $535 million. Engineering sector shipped products worth $355 million against the target of $876 million in the immediate past fiscal, according to EPB data.
BGMEA vice-president Mohammad Nasir said readymade garment sector is in right track and exceeded the export target set by the government.
“We have achieved the target. We hope that the next target will also be met if the government continues its policy support and puts more focus on infrastructure development,” BGMEA vice-president Nasir told the daily sun.
Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) president Abdus Salam Murshedy said the global retailers are now confident in Bangladesh’s capacity, which will help boost apparel export further.
New export target
The government is planning to set the new export target for FY 2018-19 at around $40 billion, $2.5 billion higher than the previous fiscal, riding on the country’s biggest export earning readymade garment sector.
EPB recently prepared a new export target proposal and sent it to the commerce ministry.
Sources at EPB said the new export target likely to be set at $40 billion with a growth rate of around 7.15 percent. Like before, around 84 percent earnings is expected to come from the apparel sector.
The ministry is reviewing the new target proposal considering the economic outlook, export destinations, diversification, supply chain capacity and global trade trends.
After reviewing the proposal, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed would formally announce the new export target for FY 19.
BGMEA vice-president Mohammad Nasir said along with the apparel sector, the government should put focus on expanding export basket and nurture thriving sectors like leather, frozen, pharmaceutical and others.