Garment exports to Canada surged 67 percent in five years, thanks to price competitiveness of Bangladeshi products and duty-benefit in the North American country.
Such exports were worth $587 million in fiscal 2008-09, which rose to $980 million in 2012-13, according to Export Promotion Bureau.
Bangladesh exported garment items worth around $740 million during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, up from around $727 million in the same period in the previous year.
Ninety-five percent of goods exported to Canada from Bangladesh are apparel items. Total exports reached $1.09 billion in fiscal 2012-13 against $993 million in the previous year.
Bangladesh has been enjoying a duty-free market access to Canada since 2003.
Bangladesh imported goods worth $613.80 million from Canada in fiscal 2012-13, up from $440.70 million in the previous year, according to data from Bangladesh Bank.
“We need to encourage exporters to increase trade with Canada. The business trend with Canada is good but we need to improve interaction, both at the private and government levels,” said Masud Rahman, the immediate past president of Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh also has the opportunity to export jute goods, leather and footwear items, light engineering products and agro-processed items, he said.
“Canada is a very promising market for Bangladesh. It is a new market compared to other traditional markets such as the EU and the US,” said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
The government should not stop lobbying with Canada to ensure the continuation of the duty benefit as the country often brings changes to its duty structures, he said.