Bangladesh’s exports declined by 17.19 per cent in October this year compared to October last year. Export earnings declined 6.82 per cent in the first quarter of the fiscal.
The readymade garment sector is not in good shape and it has created a huge negative impact on the economy. Factories are being shut, making thousands of workers jobless. More than 100 factories shut down operations in the first seven months of this year. About 60,000 workers have lost their jobs as garment factories have closed due to higher cost of production and lower prices offered by foreign buyers. Export earnings have declined mainly because of the decrease in foreign orders for apparel products. Additionally, Bangladesh is facing competition from Myanmar, India, Pakistan and Vietnam in the global market. While these competitors have devalued their currencies against the dollar, Bangladesh didn’t, and is losing orders and its competitiveness. While European countries are dealing with the recession, the US market is comparatively in good shape. However, Bangladesh has been unable to take advantage of the US market.
Bangladesh is the world’s second largest readymade garment exporter after China, with the sector accounting for more than half of manufacturing employment and around 84 per cent of the export earnings of the country.