Export earning hits record $3b in July
RMG exports brave factory disastersMoinul Haque
The country’s single month export earnings hit a record $3 billion in July, the first month of the financial year 2013-14, riding on the performance of readymade garment sector that defied factory disasters, Export Promotion Bureau officials said.
Provisional data from the EPB, which was sent to the commerce ministry for approval on Sunday, showed that the export earning totalled $3,024.29 million in July, growing by an impressive 24 per cent compared with the same period last fiscal year.
The export earning figure of July in financial year 2012-13 was $2.4 billion with 4.26 per cent growth.
The EPB vice-chairman Shuvashish Bose told New Age on Tuesday that export crossed $3 billion because of impressive performance by the readymade garment sector.
‘Even after the tragic incidents at Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza, the export earnings of July proved that Bangladesh has not lost its competitiveness in the RMG sector,’ he said.
Export earning growth has been on an upward trend in the last three months with the earning standing at $2.53 billion in May and 2.69 in June, the two months of the previous FY 2012-13.
EPB officials could not immediately give the data on RMG export earnings but said that the export growth of the sector was double digit and higher than that of the earnings of June of FY 2012-13.
The total export earning from RMG sector in June was over $2.1 billion. The country’s export in the just concluded FY 2012-2013 was $27.01 billion, growing by 11.18 per cent from the previous FY, whereas the government set the export earning target for the current FY 2013-14 at $30.50 billion with a growth of 12.84 per cent.
The total RMG export in FY 2012-13 grew by 2.73 per cent to $21.51 billion in the FY 13 from $19.08 billion in the FY 12.
Garment industry people and many of the experts, however, were shaky about achieving the target for FY 2013-14 against the backdrop of Rana Plaza collapse that killed more than 1,100 garment workers in April.
The Rana Plaza incident and the Tazreen Fashions fire that killed 113 workers in November, 2012 created an international outcry over the factory safety standard in the country.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association leaders earlier said that the international buyers were putting less order in Bangladesh following the Rana Plaza incident while the impact of the building collapse would be seen in the export figure in September-October.
Centre for Policy Dialouge additional research director Khondaker Golam Moazzem said that if the export earnings amounted more than $3 billion it will be a record and obviously it is a positive sign for the country.
‘The repeated disasters like that of Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza in the garment sector are not hindering the export earnings as Bangladesh mainly exports basic items and compliance is not a big issue for the basic items’, he said.
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