Export target trimmed to $36.74bn for FY21

Hasibul Aman

11 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The government has slashed the export target for the current fiscal year by 1.39 percentage points to $36.74 billion as the yearly target is not likely to be achieved despite a bounce back in exports amid the corona crisis. 

The ministry of commerce set a $41 billion export target for the outgoing FY21 fiscal year with 13.39 per cent expected year-on-year growth over $33.67 exports in FY20. 

The target now has been slashed to $36.74 billion with 12 per cent annual growth which has been curtailed from the primary target of 13.39 per cent, official sources said.

Meanwhile, 11 months’ total export earning stretching from July to May stood at $35.18 billion that saw 13.64 per cent growth over $30.96 total exports during the same period a year earlier, suggests the latest data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

The target has been trimmed as the rest of the $5.82 billion export earning doesn’t seem to be possible in the last month of FY21.

The country’s main export--readymade garment—could not rebound to the pre-Covid-19 level because of a global slump in apparel demand amid the global corona pandemic.

Total RMG exports rose year-on-year by 11.1 per cent to $28.56 billion during the July-May period against the $33.79 billion target set for FY21.

In FY20, the total RMG export was $27.95 billion. In the first 11 months, the export was $25.70 billion.   

Apparel exporters claim that they had to face $6 billion order cancellation after the pandemic and they are compelled to sell RMG items at break-even prices.

However, they are still hopeful of $31 billion export earnings from the sector in this fiscal year ending June.   

Similarly, leather and leather goods exports are not likely to achieve the $9.2 billion export target even though the sector saw 14.43 per cent growth this year to reach $8.46 billion in the period. 

A projection of the ministry of finance suggests that the slow export growth will continue until the 2023-24 fiscal year, which has been reflected in a 12 per cent conservative growth estimate for FY24 as well.

The finance ministry argued that in consideration of the current industrial production and international market, the export target of the current fiscal year has been slashed.

The government has taken a number of initiatives including implementing stimulus packages as part of a countercyclical system to help the export sector recover from the corona crisis.

A total of Tk 670 billion is being provided to the export earning sector under four stimulus packages.

Besides, the government has taken different strategies to diversify export, explore new market, sign bilateral trade treaties and enhance productivity alongside improving infrastructural facilities.