Published in The New Nation on Monday, 14 March 2016
Plastic export declines by 22.66 pc in eight months
The export earnings from plastic sector declined by 22.66 per cent in the first eight months (July – February) of the current fiscal 2015-16 compared with corresponding period of the last fiscal 2014-15.Country’s plastic sector earned $ 58.89 million in the first eight months of the current fiscal compared. The government has set to earn $76.14 million from the plastic sector during the period, according to the latest data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) ON Monday. The government set the export target at $118 million for the plastic sector in the last fiscal but the actual earning was $100.57 million. Md Jashim Uddin, President of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association said told the New Nation recently that plastic products contribute 1.20 per cent of the country’s GDP. At present, a total of 23 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East are the major export destination of plastic products. But, the export-oriented plastic sector does not enjoy similar kinds of facilities as enjoyed by other major export-oriented products. Plastic exporters unlike garment exporters do not receive any additional incentives and benefits, he claimed. He demanded bank loan for the export oriented plastic industries at lower rate of interest and cash incentives.
CPD Additional Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem said, country’s plastic sector faces multifarious difficulties. Absence of modern equipment and machinery in manufacturing facilities puts the country at a disadvantage situation. Without investing on high-tech machines, Bangladesh would not be able to take advantage of low cost production unlike China and India. “Actually, we do not have any testing laboratory to test quality and strength of plastic goods. A plastic testing laboratory and testing centre are urgently needed”, said the CPD research director.
At present, the industry suffers due to shortage of skilled workers especially in the small and medium sized enterprises. Most of the enterprises hire untrained workers, he said. On the other hand, the industry suffers due to shortages of electricity and gas supply and lack of access to capital.