BD's exports to African countries record 46.43 pc growth
Despite an upward trend of businesses among the African nations themselves, Bangladesh's export posted a growth in the continent.
As per latest official statistics Bangladesh's export to African countries in the last financial year was $194 million which is US$61.6 million or 46.43 per cent higher than $132.4 million during the financial year 2015-16 (FY16).
Among the exports items to African nations from Bangladesh are - garments, textile, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, leather goods and ICT products and major importing countries are Sudan Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritius, Somalia, Ivory De Coast and many others.
A senior economist said though export is increasing from Bangladesh to African countries, the continent is a proven threat for Bangladesh's readymade garments export in the US market as they enjoy zero duty on their exports.
Referring International Trade Centre (ITC) data, he said, in 2016 garment exports from 39 sub-Saharan nations was $2.6 billion which reached near $3 billion in 2017.
He said under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) the African countries enjoy duty-free and quota-free access for certain goods, including readymade apparels to the US posing threat to Bangladesh's RMG export in the international markets and the situation may worsen when Bangladesh would graduate to middle income bracket. It will not be allowed duty benefits provided to developing nations.
He said despite a threat in US market Bangladesh's export growth to African nations would be continued as a good number of Bangladeshi products are drawing their attention due to its quality, innovation and costs effectiveness.
Md Shafiuzzaman a former president of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceuticals Industry (BAPI) said, "Our medicines are in a growing demand in the African countries."
He said, a number of Bangladeshi drug companies are exporting medicines to African countries and it is growing every year and new companies are also getting export orders following competitive prices.
The former BAPI leader said a good number of local companies received good responses from the African buyers.
An Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) official said Bangladesh's participation in foreign fairs and exhibitions have helped a lot to shocase products to African importers.