Bangladesh’s export to grow 8pc this year
The projection is some way off the 10.55 percent clocked in fiscal 2018-19.
“Bangladesh’s outlook for exports has remained bright despite the global trade tensions,” said Douglas Lippoldt, chief trade economist of the HSBC.
He made the comments during an economic and trade outlook event the international trade bank organised for clients and regulators in Dhaka recently.
Lippoldt shared his insights from the latest HSBC Global Research report, “Asian Trade Prospects – Navigating turbulent seas”, published in August.
The report puts a spotlight on what factors would be driving trade, economies and markets for the rest of the year and in the coming ones.
Lippoldt said 2019 has been a challenging year for Asia-Pacific trade prospects.
The nascent recovery in trade growth from 2017 to 2018 has been stunted by softer global demand and the policy disruptions that began in 2018 and has carried on into 2019.
The HSBC’s macroeconomic team forecasts only 0.9 percent export volume growth in 2019 after healthy annual export growth of 6.6 percent for the region in 2018. This deceleration would see export growth in the Asia-Pacific region fall below the forecast for the worldwide average of 1.7 percent.
“However, progress in trade reform could enable economies in the region to access untapped economic potential,” Lippoldt said.
He said the region’s strength lies generally in favourable demographic conditions and ability to boost productivity via application of currently available technology and improvements in regional innovation processes.
Availability of potential gains via reform of currently under-performing policy settings, including with respect to trade, is another strength, he said.
“For Bangladesh, the outlook for exports remains bright even amid the global trade tensions,” Lippoldt said.
Bangladeshi firms were also the most optimistic about the global trade outlook among the 34 markets in HSBC’s Navigator Survey conducted in late 2018.
Around 94 percent of Bangladeshi businesses reported a positive outlook on global trade, with China, India and Japan cited as the top three markets where they are looking to expand their business over the next three to five years.
Speaking at the event, Md Akhtaruzzaman, executive director for research at Bangladesh Bank, said Bangladesh has well positioned itself to face current global economic and political challenges, including the China-US trade tension.
“Bangladesh is hugely investing in infrastructure development projects as well as human development which will benefit Bangladesh in the mid and long-run by enhancing overall productivity and digitalization,” he said.
He said while volatile economic and political condition was a cause of concern for countries in the Asia-Pacific region, it would create more opportunities for countries such as Bangladesh.
Francois de Maricourt, chief executive officer of HSBC Bangladesh, said as the leading international trade bank, HSBC would be here to guide and support its clients’ business needs in these challenging environment.
“We are committed to offering our clients the best insight and solutions whatever the economic climate is because we exist to serve them,” he said.
Md Mahbub ur Rahman, deputy CEO and country head of wholesale banking, said the recent HSBC Trade Navigator Survey captures a positive outlook of the Bangladesh economy. International trade remains at the centre of it.
“By bringing in our Chief Trade Economist Douglas Lippoldt at this opportune time for our customers and stakeholders, we are confident it will help them understand the future dimensions of our international trade amidst ongoing trade tension globally.”