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Bangladesh's 2013-14 fiscal exports hit all-time yearly high

by Naim-Ul-Karim

DHAKA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh grossed the highest ever yearly export income in the immediate past 2013-14 (July 2012-June 2013) fiscal year as demand for garment products further soared on Soccer World Cup 2014 in Brazil, officials said Thursday.

An Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) official told Xinhua export income in the 2013-14 fiscal year grew 11.65 percent year on year to exceed 30 billion U. S. dollars for the first time.

"2013-14 fiscal year exports reached 30,176.80 million U.S. dollars, setting a new record," said the official who preferred not to be named.

With 2.80 billion U.S. dollars export earning in June, up 3.50 percent over the same period a year ago, he said the country's overall export earnings in the last fiscal year, however, fell short of target by 1.06 percent.

Bangladesh's export income in the previous 2012-13 fiscal year was registered at 27.03 billion dollars. In 2012-13 fiscal year, export grew 11.18 percent year on year but fell short of target by 3.51 percent.

The growth in 2013-14 fiscal year attributed to demand for ready-made garments in many key global markets where merchandise exports bolstered owing to Soccer World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Soccer World Cup has come as a big boon for Bangladesh's ready- made dress makers as they bagged about 1 billion dollars in export orders to sew clothing for fans of the participating teams, industry insiders say.

Garment makers say they have made millions of pieces of soccer jerseys, T-shirts, flags and hats for fans of all the World Cup's 32 teams and already sent their products to all across the world.

"We've received orders to make the World Cup related merchandise worth of nearly 1 billion U.S. dollars," said Mohammad Hatem, acting chief of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

Bangladesh's earnings from garment exports, which make up more than three fourths of the country's annual incomes since the beginning of this decade, surged to 24.491 billion dollars in 2013- 14 fiscal year, according to EPB.

The EPB data showed knitwear garment export grew 15.02 percent to 12,049.81 million dollars while woven garments increased 12.70 percent to 12,442.07 billion dollars, comparing with the same period of last fiscal. The EPB data showed that other major exportable items, like frozen foods, home textiles, leather and leather products and footwear, also had well performance in the last fiscal year.

After achieving double-digit export growth in the last fiscal, the Bangladesh government surged its export target by over 11 percent to 30.05 billion for the current fiscal.

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