Dhaka, Bangladesh
Focus on Asia for boosting export

Focus on Asia for boosting export

As the ongoing pandemic hit the global supply chain and dashed demand worldwide, overall export earnings of Bangladesh dropped 16.93 per cent year-on-year to $ 33.67 billion in the immediate past fiscal year. Against this backdrop, new destinations like China, India, Japan and other South Asian countries that comprise one of the biggest consumer markets can give a breathing space to the exporters of Bangladesh, opine the experts. About 80 per cent of the country's exports are destined for the European and American markets, while Asian nations don't get due attention though they have high potential. The Asian markets, especially India, China and Japan are very important for Bangladesh. China has recently allowed duty-free facility for 97 per cent of Bangladeshi products. This is really a huge opportunity for Bangladesh and this should be utilized to the fullest extent. Bangladesh's exports to China are going up considerably as the demand for Bangladeshi products, especially garment items, is growing among the Chinese middle-income people. So, it will be wise for Bangladesh to focus more on the Asian markets apart from the traditional markets like Europe and the US. China is the largest apparel supplier worldwide. True, China has a big consumer base but all its consumers cannot afford the high-end garment items it makes. For this reason, many Chinese clothing brands are sourcing apparel items from Bangladesh at competitive prices for their domestic customers. Some work orders for garment products are also being diverted to Bangladesh from China owing to the high cost of production in China. As a result, Bangladesh's export to China has escalated to nearly $ one billion in recent years from less than $ 100 million even seven years ago. India can also be another big market for Bangladesh as it enjoys zero duty benefit in the neighbour's market, although there is 12 per cent countervailing duty. We need to further explore the Indian market to reap the maximum benefit of the duty privilege. Thanks to the duty benefit, shipment to India surpassed $ one billion-mark last year, with the garment being a major export item. Japan is another promising market for Bangladesh. Shipment to Japan has been increasing because of high demand for Bangladeshi goods and zero duty benefit. In the past fiscal year monthly export earnings crashed in April to the lowest in the history of Bangladesh as factories were shut and shipments suspended to contain the spread of COVID-19. According to experts, export revival will be a big challenge as earnings were in the negative territory even before the coronavirus aggression. But it is possible to overcome the crisis by penetrating deeper into the Asian markets.

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