The government is likely to set a 15 percent higher export target for this fiscal year as it looks to hit $60 billion in receipts by 2021, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi yesterday.
If the target is achieved Bangladesh’s export will be $46.60 billion, up from $40.53 billion in the immediate past fiscal year that ended on June 30, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
To boost receipts, the government will allow rice export of two lakh tonnes by eligible businesses, Munshi said in a press conference at his secretariat office.
“Around 30 lakh tonnes of potatoes have been surplus this year in Bangladesh. We are also in talks with Malaysia and the Philippines to export potatoes,” he added.
He is expecting good receipts from shipment of jute and jute goods as the demand for products made from natural fibres are on the rise around the world for growing environmental consciousness.
Bangladesh wants to export garment items to Brazil and to some Eurasian countries. “We will be greatly benefited from these two markets. Our bargaining capacity with the existing buyers will also improve if we can grab those markets.”
The minister also expects a massive export growth of leather and leather goods this year.
“We want more export earnings. We have been diversifying both the export destinations and products for more export,” said Md Mofizul Islam, secretary to the commerce ministry.
Regarding the EU markets, the biggest export destination for Bangladesh, Islam said the local exporters have been facing some problems in quality issues in the EU.
The government has been trying to improve the quality of exportable goods, especially of leather and leather goods and footwear. “We hope the EU market will grow a lot in the near future,” he said.
About the signing of free trade agreements, he said, “We will have to think a lot before signing anything. We need to improve our capacity so that we can also benefit from the signing of the FTA.”
The government is evaluating signing FTAs with some countries like China, Malaysia and India, he added.
Bangladesh’s export to the main markets like Germany, the US and some Asian countries registered a significant growth in the immediate past fiscal year, said Tapan Kanti Ghosh, additional secretary to the commerce ministry.
The signing of FTA between Vietnam and the EU might not be a big threat for Bangladesh as the country has been enjoying the zero duty benefit to the EU till now. Bangladesh will contisnue to enjoy such benefit to the EU until 2027, he said.