Govt sets $72b export target for FY24
The government yesterday set a target to export goods and services worth $72 billion in the current fiscal year (FY), seeking a 11.59 per cent year-on-year growth.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi announced the export target for FY 2022-23 through a press conference at his secretariat office in Dhaka.
Of the targeted amount, $62 billion has been fixed for merchandise shipments, up from the $55.55 billion earned last fiscal year, when the segment registered a 6.67 per cent year-on-year growth.
However, the target for merchandise shipments was set at $58 billion in FY 2022-23.
The services export target for FY 2023-24 has been set at $10 billion, an increase of 11.11 per cent from $9 billion in the previous FY.
The target for garments, the main export item, has been increased by just $5 billion to $52 billion from the $46.99 billion registered in FY 2022-23.
Of the total garment export target, $28.3 billion has been fixed for knitwear and $23.7 billion for woven items.
Achieving the target may not be possible if gas and power is not supplied adequately, said Mohammad Hatem, executive president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
"But if gas and power is supplied properly, it is possible to achieve more than the target," he added.
Hatem alleged that the process for securing incentives against export receipts is tied up in corruption due to being riddled with bureaucratic tangles.
He also complained that lengthy procedures required by the customs department and harassment by different offices of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) are other major challenges for garment exporters.
For example, a garment exporter recently faced a lot of trouble in releasing clothing tags of Walmart at the Chattogram port, Hatem said.
Besides, businesses face harassment in paying value added tax, he added.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said although the government aims to export $100 billion worth of various merchandise, garment exporters say the apparel sector alone aims to earn that amount by 2030.
And while garments are considered the main export item, product diversification has been slow for many years now.
"If the gas and power supply continue adequately, achieving the target is not so hard," he said, while terming the target as an ambitious one.
During a meeting before the press conference, the minister said businesses previously complained about gas and power shortages.
He also said Bangladesh has an opportunity as work orders for garments have been shifting away from China.
Moreover, garment exporters demanded incentives on manufacturing of manmade fibres as the demand for such clothing items was rising worldwide, he said.
Munshi said some factors were considered for fixing the target like the country's graduation from the least developed category, decline in global demand due to high inflation and uncertainty in the Russia-Ukraine war.
Moreover, assumptions on the global economy and trade returning to positive growth in 2024 and demand recovering in Europe and North America during the fourth quarter of 2023 were considered as well, he said.
Also, factors like accommodating changes to the global supply chain in the private sector and garment industry continues to play the most important role, he said.
Additionally, diversification was also considered in fixing the target for the year, he added.
Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior commerce secretary, also spoke.