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Bangladesh exports to non-traditional markets decline in H1

According to exports figures released by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA),the country's apparel exports to some potential non-traditional markets declined considerably during the first half (H1) of the current fiscal year 2015-16, despite posting an 8.13 per cent growth to all the new markets during the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Exports to Brazil and Turkey dropped by 24.25 per cent and 6.47 per cent respectively. Shipments to China, Japan and Russia recorded a slow growth of 0.40 per cent, 3.99 per cent and 2.16 per cent respectively. However, the total export of ready-made garment (RMG) products to the new markets grew by 8.13 per cent with earnings worth $2.01 billion during the July-December period of the FY '16.

Bangladesh's exports to the new destinations witnessed more than 20 per cent growth from FY 2011-12 to FY 2013-14. The new emerging markets included Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. Knit products export to Brazil, China, Russia and Turkey fell drastically by 36.79 per cent, 16.95 per cent, 8.21 per cent and 4.85 per cent respectively during the first half of the current fiscal compared to that of the corresponding period of last fiscal, data revealed.

Similarly, woven products export to Brazil also witnessed a 6.22 per cent decline, 0.18 per cent to India, 5.16 per cent to Japan and 7.10 per cent to Turkey during H1 of FY 16.

Industry experts are of the opinion that the sector’s dependency over cotton-based products and lack of effective efforts for product diversification and new market exploration as well as shortage of specialised skilled workforce, poor infrastructure and entrepreneurs' unwillingness to take risk are some of the factors responsible for the limited product exports.