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Professor Mustafizur Rahman on setting export target

Published in Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday, 2 June 2015.

FY16 export target set at $33.56bn

Ibrahim Hossain Ovi

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) initially has set $33.56bn as export target for the financial year 2015-16.

In the outgoing fiscal year, the target was $33.2bn.

The primary decision was made at a meeting with the stakeholders yesterday, said official sources.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, jute goods and leather goods manufacturers and exporters.

The EPB will send the export target proposal to the Ministry of Commerce. After a review, commerce minister will formally announce the target.

“We have sought opinions from the stakeholders concerned about setting export target for the next fiscal year. On the basis of their opinions and considering global and local economic situations, we have set the initial target $33.56bn with a growth of 7.49%,” EPB Vice-Chairman Shubhashish Bose told the Dhaka Tribune.

The target will be finalised reviewing the export growth of the current fiscal year, he added.

About the export growth during July-April period of the current fiscal year, EPB vice chairman said the export growth did not reach up to the mark as it was expected, due to some factors like political unrest, devaluation of euro against greenback, compliance issue in the country’s garment industry and weak global consumers demand.

As per the latest EPB data, during July-April of the FY2014-15, Bangladesh earned $25.30bn from exports, registering 2.63% growth compared to the same period a year earlier.

The country will have to earn $7.9bn more in the final two months of the fiscal to reach the year’s target of $33.2bn.

The RMG sector, the largest export earner of the country, already has failed to reach the target.

In the first 10 months, the garment exports totalled $20.56bn although the target was set at $26.89bn for the year.

As per the EPB data, the woven sector earned $10.55bn with still 4.53% short of target and the knitwear fetched over $10bn which was also 6.3% less than the target.

About setting export target, Centre for Policy Dialogue executive director Prof Mustafizur Rahman suggested considering global economic growth, demands, local production capacity, new development in global market, recent trade agreements, free trade agreement and supply chain in fixing target.

He said Bangladesh should see its competitors’ targets and their achievement process.

About the target set for the next fiscal year, the economist said, “The target is conservative and achievable. But we have to focus on exploring new horizons. If there is any major development in global economic arena, the target could be revised.”

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