:: Peoples Time Online ::
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has proposed setting a US$ 44.40 billion export target for fiscal year (FY) 2019-20, officials have said.
More than 84 per cent or $37.42 billion of the proposed export earnings is expected to come from the readymade garment (RMG) sector.
The EPB has also projected an additional $6.60 billion in earnings from the services export, raising the next FY’s aggregate target to $51.0 billion.
The Bureau expects the export receipts to reach $ 47.41 billion — $41.58 billion from goods and $5.83 billion from services export — by the end of the current fiscal year. This would represent a 15.63 per cent increase over that of the previous fiscal.
The proposed export target of $44.40 billion is 6.76 per cent or $2.81 billion higher than the $41.58 billion expected to be earned in the current fiscal year. The initial target for the outgoing FY was worth $39.00 billion.
The proposals were placed at a meeting of the EPB held on June 24. None of the leaders from the country’s largest foreign currency earning RMG sector was present in the meeting.
However, leaders of the export-oriented sectors, including RMG, have opined that the target is achievable, provided the government extend the necessary policy support.
They, however, said continuation of the existing cash support and hike of the same in some cases, stable political situation and a justifiably devalued local currency will help attain the target.
“We have initially discussed the proposals on export earnings for the upcoming fiscal year with different stakeholders,” an EPB official told the FE.
They would send the proposals shortly to the commerce ministry for its approval, he added.
In the current fiscal year, earnings from all 10 major export items baring leather and leather goods, jute and jute goods and engineering products have been projected to grow, according to the proposal.
Earnings from knitwear export would increase by 13.75 per cent, woven garments 14.63 per cent, home textile less than 1.0 per cent, pharmaceuticals 30.96 per cent, plastic products 26.18 per cent, footwear (non-leather) 11.99 per cent agricultural products 39.73 per cent and frozen and live fish 2.71 per cent.
Earnings from leather and leather products have been projected to decline by 4.21 per cent, jute and jute goods 16.90 per cent and engineering products by 1.04 per cent.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Dr Rubana Huq opined that the growth must be reported in value terms along with in terms of quantity.
“If growth figures do not take value addition into account, it makes little sense to have targets,” she said.
Frozen food industry insiders said $ 540 million in export earnings might not be possible unless necessary initiatives are taken to increase production of shrimp and allow introducing the low-rated and small-size vennamei species of shrimp.
They demanded an increase in the cash incentive to 20 per cent from 10 per cent.
The EPB has proposed export targets of $ 18.47 billion and $ 18.94 billion from knit and woven products respectively in the next FY.
It also proposed an export target of $ 1.06 billion with a growth projection of 2.71 per cent for the leather and leather goods sector.
On the other hand, $910 million and $855 million have been proposed to be earned from home textile and jute and jute goods respectively in the next fiscal year.
Export data for the services sector, however, are not available for the whole year.
Earnings from the services sector include the government’s goods and services, transportation, telecommunication services, travel and computer services, according to the EPB.