Export to India drops in FY12Staff Correspondent
Bangladesh’s exports to India declined to $498.41 million in the just concluded financial year of 2011-12 from $512.51 million in the financial year 2010-11 despite slight increase in apparel exports.
Export Promotion Bureau officials said that exports to the neighbouring country declined by 2.75 per cent in FY12, after year-on-year growth in two previous years, mainly because of fall in demand for jute and jute products.
EPB data showed that exports grew by 68.24 per cent FY2011 and 10.14 per cent in FY2010, after sliding by 22.76 per cent in FY2009.
‘Bangladesh’s exports to India declined in the last fiscal year because of lack of demand in the Indian market amid slow growth of its economy,’ said professor Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of Centre for Policy Dialogue, the leading independent think-tank, on Sunday.
The Indian market was also affected by the global economic slowdown, he said.
EPB data showed that exports of jute and jute products to India fell to $113.88 million in FY12 from that of $158.52 million in FY11.
Exports of apparel and textiles products increased to around $133.64 million in FY12 from $107.13 million in FY11.
EPB vice-chairman Shubhashis Bose told New Age on Saturday that jute exports to India declined due to political turmoil in some Middle East and North African countries.
‘India’s businesses usually import jute fibre and make goods for exporting to some Middle East and African countries. Political turmoil surrounding Iran and crises in other countries affected Indian export of jute goods, hitting the Bangladesh jute sector,’ he said.
When his attention was drawn to slow growth in apparel exports despite India’s announcement of duty-free access, Bose said, ‘The duty-free access facility came into effect in the middle of last financial year. We may get the full benefit of the facility in this fiscal year.’
Prof Mustafiz said that Bangladesh’s capacity to supply goods to India must be increased to compete with countries from which India imported goods.
‘The standard of products and institutionalised capacity of standard entity must be enhanced,’ he said, adding that mutual recognition agreement with India could be signed so that India and Bangladesh accept each other’s products.
He said India imported goods worth $485 billion in its financial year of 2011-2012 (from April 2011-March 2012).
‘Even if we could capture 1 per cent of Indian market, our exports to India would be $4.85 billion and trade gap with the country will reduce substantially,’ he said.
According to Bangladesh Bank data Bangladesh imported goods worth around $3.75 billion from India in the first nine months of the FY12 and the total import might have crossed the figure of $4.56 billion in FY11. The total data is not yet available with the BB.
Prof Mustafiz said that the Indian market for Bangladesh was different than other markets like USA and Europe where 80 per cent of total export items is apparel products.
‘Bangladesh can export small scale items to capture the Indian market,’ he said.
EPB data showed that Bangladesh exported fish and related products worth $54.59 million in FY12. The figure was $56.37 million in FY11.
Exports of edible fruits, beetle nuts and melons grew to $48.29 million, animal and vegetable fats and cleavage products to $10.70 million and cotton to $14.16 million in FY12 from $28.12 million, $3.45 million and $11.26 million in FY11 respectively.
Exports of fuel oil and distillation products declined to $0.93 million, salt, stone, lime and cement declined to $10.78 million, copper and related products to $19.49 million and rawhide and leather to $4.77 million from $28.41 million, $13.29 million, $24.60 million and $9.63 million respectively in FY11.
Bangladesh’s overall export in FY12 grew by 5.93 per cent to $24.28 billion from $22.93 billion in FY11 when export grew by 41.47 per cent year-on-year.
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