More billion-dollar export sectors in the offing, after RMG and jute
It will leave multiple impacts on Bangladeshâ€™s economy,â€ Prof Mustafiz.
Kazi Azizul Islam
Emergence of jute as the countryâ€™s second billion-dollar export earning sector and growth of two other similar sectors are seen as a very significant development for the national economy, say export industry insiders and trade analysts.
After readymade garments, jute has emerged as the second billion-dollar export earning sector of the country, a report of the Export Promotion Bureau disclosed on Thursday.
Bureauâ€™s vice-chairman Jalal Ahmed strongly hopes that home textilesâ€”bed linen, curtains and terry towelsâ€”sector will be the third billion-dollar export sector of Bangladesh very soon.
Export industry observers also see that leather and leather goods export sector would become the fourth billion-dollar export sector of Bangladesh in the up coming fiscal year.
According to EPB report, shipment of raw-jute and jute goods amounted worth $1.03 billion, growing 42 per cent year-on-year, in 11 months of the current fiscal year.
Of the amount, jute yarn shipment shared $363 million, up 27 per cent year-on-year, raw-jute $183 million, up 81 per cent and jute sacks and bags shared $126 million, up 50 per cent.
â€˜The emergence of jute sector as the countryâ€™s second billion-dollar export sector is a milestone for our economy,â€™ said Sabbir Yussuf, a former president of Bangladesh Jute Spinnersâ€™ Association.
The association groups nearly 80 jute spinners, who command more than nearly 90 per cent supplies to the global market of jute yarn. Carpet backing clothes and other diversified jute goods manufacturers in Turkey, Iran, India, China and other parts of the world are the main buyers of Bangladeshi jute yarn.
â€˜The uniqueness of jute export sector is that maximum local value addition is ensured as jute is grown in Bangladesh,â€™ said Sabbir.
Readymade garment export sector earned $15.96 billion, up 43 per cent year-on-year, in 11 months of the current fiscal year.
Industry people say that depending entirely on imported cotton and major portion of required fabrics, the local value addition of readymade garment industry still remains at around 50 per cent of the export proceeds.
EPBâ€™s vice-chairman Jalal Ahmed strongly hopes that home textilesâ€”bed linen, curtains and terry towelsâ€”sector will be the third billion-dollar export sector of Bangladesh very soon.
The EPB report shows export precedes, in 11 months, by home textiles amounted worth $827 million including $111 million worth of terry towels. Shipment of bed linen and curtains increased by 98 per cent with the unit price increasing in global market and volume of shipment rising from newly set up production units.
Industry insiders said that many retailers like IKEA and H&M had encouraged the local industries to expand their production capacity.
Nearly half a dozen bed sheet and curtains manufacturers here have already built up skills for managing large-scale production line with fine weaving, dying and printing plants.
Export industry observers also see that leather and leather goods export sector would become the third billion-dollar export sector of Bangladesh in the up coming fiscal year.
Shipment of finished leather amounted worth $271 million, up 35 per cent year-on-year, in July-May period, footwear $265 million, up 46 per cent and diversified leather goods export rose by 109 per cent, year-on-year, to $52 million.
Sikder Ahmed, operation director of the Korea-based Youngone Corporation says that the billion-dollar leather and footwear export sector would no more remain a dream for Bangladesh. â€˜Many retailers in USA, EU and Japan, who had been sourcing only from China, Vietnam and Thailand, are now looking at Bangladesh.â€™
Employing nearly 35,000 workers, Youngone is the largest foreign investor in Bangladeshâ€™s export-oriented readymade garment manufacturing sector. The company is now setting up Asiaâ€™s biggest footwear manufacturing complex in the port city Chittagong.
Youngoneâ€™s export-oriented footwear complex, to employ nearly 50,000 workers, will produce 30 million pairs of shoes annually which will be more than Bangladeshâ€™s entire shipment of footwear now. First phase of Youngoneâ€™s footwear complexâ€™s production will start within next three months.
Nasir Khan, the immediate past vice-president of Bangladesh Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said besides Youngone, at least 10 factories, set up by local and foreign investors are almost ready to go into production.
â€˜Footwear shipment is set to see a fresh boosts in the next fiscal yearâ€¦ A billion-dollar leather and leather goods export sector for Bangladesh will no more be a dream,â€™ said an upbeat Nasir Khan, pointing out that like jute, footwear exports will ensure maximum value addition as Bangladesh has a good stock of quality hides.
EPBâ€™s Jalal Ahmed said frozen foodâ€”mainly shrimps and fishâ€”has the potentials to become another billion-droller export sector in the near future with global market inviting more and more sourcing from Bangladesh.
Industry insiders said despite growth in the supply of raw shrimp remained weak, frozen shrimp export earnings grew 44 per cent to $428 million in 11 months of the current fiscal. Fish exports, specially Hilsha and others, amounted worth $123 million, up 65 per cent year-on-year.
According to industry observers, earning from frozen food shipment rose as price of the product increased in global market while Bangladeshi suppliers are sending value-added items like semi-cooked or ready-to-eat shrimp products to EU and other markets.
The Center for Policy Dialogue executive director Prof Mustafizur Rahman says, emergence of non-garment billion-dollar export sectors is a very significant development in Bangladeshâ€™s industrial economy.
â€˜The challenge is now to consolidate the newly emerged and upcoming billion-dollar export industries, expand them and grab more share in global markets,â€™ said the renowned international trade analyst.
Growth of diversified and large-scale export industries is conducive for domestic industrialization, said Prof Mustafiz. â€˜It will leave multiple impacts on Bangladeshâ€™s economy.â€™