Bangladesh eyes Chinese market as exports suffer major blow in Europe, U.S. amid COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-08 00:08:20|Editor: huaxia
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DHAKA, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh export earnings in the past financial year 2019-20 sank about 17 percent to 33.67 billion U.S. dollars, the lowest since the 2014-15 fiscal year, the country's Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data posted on its website showed Tuesday.

The EPB data showed export performance for June, the final month of the last fiscal, was 2.71 billion U.S. dollars, 2.5 percent lower than the same month of the previous financial year.

Key ready-made garment exports from Bangladesh fell by 18.12 percent to 27.95 billion U.S. dollars in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Export earnings declined by 16.93 percent, or about 7 billion U.S. dollars, from 40.54 billion U.S. dollars in the previous fiscal.

Bangladesh set its export target in 2019-20 fiscal year at 45.54 billion U.S. dollars, including 38.20 billion U.S. dollars from ready-made garment products, the EPB data showed.

An EPB official said export income plunged as earnings from garment items have been experiencing severe slowdown for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our exports suffered major blow as a section of global buyers from the United States and European Union which are by far the largest destinations for Bangladesh's garment exports, have cancelled their orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the last months," said the EPB official who did not like to be named.

"We're now exploring opportunities to bolster market in China for Bangladeshi garment products," he said with reference to the China's recent decision to provide tariff exemption for 97 percent of exports from Bangladesh.

"We're already exporting garment items to China availing duty holiday facility," Faisal Samad, senior vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told Xinhua on Tuesday.

He said in future China looks set to emerge as a big market for Bangladesh products.

"To reap optimum benefits from China's tariff exemption we have to understand well Chinese market and Chinese business patterns," said the leader of the BGMEA.

Samad has recently expressed grave concern as the international brands have cancelled orders worth 3.18 billion U.S. dollars.

The garment sector accounts for around 80 percent of Bangladesh's annual exports and generates employment for some 4 million workers while women make up around 80 percent of the garment workforce. Enditem