Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Sustain export growth

The country’s export volume is no doubt quite small compared to those of many of its global trade partners and thus the balance of payment is usually tilted towards them. But the happy thing about our export is that it is in its period of growth in terms of both quantity and quality and also foreign exchange earnings. And needless to say, we can and will, of course, pin our hopes on what is growing at a particular moment, not on what is in the process of rotting. Growth indicates good health and move to a positive direction while decay walks down to frailty.

Exports from Bangladesh in the last fiscal year and certain periods of this year posted growth by significant margins in almost all major sub-sectors including woven and knit garments, agricultural products, medicines, frozen and live fishes as well as leather and leather goods. Quoting sources in the Export Promotion Bureau, a front page story of this daily yesterday provided us with encouraging information that the country’s export earnings surged to a record high of $4.72 billion in October with a more than 60 per cent year-on-year growth. This earning is 36+ per cent higher than the volume projected. It may be mentioned that the government has set an export target of $43.50 billion for the current fiscal against near about $39 billion in 2020-21. With the growing trends in all sub-sectors, this target appears to be down-to-earth and completely achievable. With the likely installation of gamma irradiation plant to increase the shelf life of the agro-products by freeing them from parasites, pathogens and microorganisms, export of agricultural produces is sure to increase. Arrangements should also be made to introduce modern technologies in the production and processing of other export-oriented substances.

Bangladesh, expecting to reach higher levels of economic growth in the foreseeable future, cannot afford remaining mainly at the receiving end in international trade for an indefinite period. We must make utmost efforts to come of the labyrinth. With this view in clear perspective, daily sun has always been putting extra emphasis on expansion of the export basket by putting more and more value-added items in it. The sad thing in our export performance is that jute and jute products have fallen behind in this race of export growth. Arrangement should also be made to bring back the golden days of the golden fibre.