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Retail, wholesale trade contributes 14pc to GDP

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 20 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Retail, wholesale trade contributes 14pc to GDP

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The contribution of distributive trade to the economy is growingly important as the share of retail and wholesale businesses in GDP now stands at the third highest at 14 percent after the industry and agriculture sector.

Not only that, it has created a large number of jobs in the country as some 8.6 million people are now involved in retail and wholesale businesses.

Out of 15 key sectors, the sector has been placed third after industry and agriculture sectors and its total size now stands at Tk 5,609 billion, according to the latest Distributive Trade Survey of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

“The retail and wholesale trades are gradually becoming the main driver of the economy with their growing contribution to GDP. Vehicle repairing places have also been developed surrounding these and many jobs have been created there,” Ziauddin Ahmed, director at National Accounting Wing of BBS, said.  

Total number of retail and wholesale business units has surged to 39,46,646. Of them, 34,87,203 are retail units which are 88.36 percent of total distributive trade units. The sector’s Gross Value Added (GVA) stood at Tk 4,794.73 billion.

This important part of the service sector comprises three segments involving motor vehicles and motorcycle related sales and repair services.

Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for 2,16,714

or 5.49 percent of the total trade units, wholesale trade, except for motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for 242729  or 6.15 percent.

The distributive trade sector is dominated by male. Some 97.65 percent of full-time employees are male while the number for women is only 2.35 percent.   

The average turnover for retail traders is Tk 10-15 lakh. Such types of businesses are family-run businesses for which a sizeable portion of employees are unpaid.     The retail and wholesale business sector has sub-sectors like repairing household items, motor vehicles and motorcycles.

Production, wholesale and retail trade, transport, agriculture and construction are the main drivers of the economy. In general, GDP is calculated by three large sectors –Agriculture, Industry and Service. But GDP is calculated through 15 sub-sectors under the large sectors.

The total contribution of five key sectors like production, wholesale and retail trade, transport, agriculture and construction to national GDP is 67 percent.

Small and large industries under the production sector have 24.08 per cent contribution to GDP, while transport sector contributes over 10 per cent, agriculture and forest sector contributes over 10 percent and construction sector 7.63 percent.

Besides, health and social activities, education, social and individual service, public administration, bank and insurance, hotel-restaurants, electricity, water and gas supply, oil and gas exploration and fishery sub-sectors have also an important contribution to GDP. 

Out of over 8.6 million employees engaged in distributive trade, 16,18832 or 88.30 percent were full-time employees and 10,09,088 were part-timers, according to the BBS survey.

The employment cost in the sector saw Tk 41.17 billion or 1.02 percent rise in a year to Tk 383.54 billion from Tk 342.37 a year ago.

The distributive trade survey is an important data bank that plays a significant role in the preparation of economic development indicators for GDP estimation.

The survey will create scope for knowing and understanding more about the trade sector and its contribution to GDP, according to BBS. 

“The size and trend of distributive trade is a major economic indicator, which represents a sizeable portion of economic activities taking place in the country and connects between production and consumption,” BBS official Ziauddin added.

BBS now plans to conduct the survey in a larger perspective to resolve data deficiency problem, reshape GDP calculation methodology and bring about structural change in trade sector.