Despite being a smaller nation, Bangladesh has overtaken Pakistan in overall exports in the fiscal year ending June 2012. Bangladesh for the first time has left Pakistan behind as its exports climbed to US $24.3 billion during last fiscal year as compared to $23.6 billion posted by Pakistani exports in the same period.
Mr Shahzad Salim, Chairman of PRGMEA said, “Pakistan is facing a massive energy crisis, due to which production has dipped. Coupled with the duty-free access that Bangladeshi goods command in Europe, Canada and other countries, it is not surprising that Bangladeshi exports have forged ahead of those from Pakistan”.
He added by saying, “Our government is taking steps to ease the energy crisis. So, we are very confident that we will regain our rightful place in the sun once the unfavourable factors which we are facing at present are addressed by the government of Pakistan”.
“In the current economic circumstances, retailers in Europe prefer to order apparel products from Bangladesh as they can ship in the goods without paying duties, which is a huge disadvantage for exporters in countries like India and Pakistan. Despite which I do not see Bangladesh going past Pakistan in textile and clothing exports.
“Secondly we have access to locally produced raw materials like cotton and if the energy crisis is resolved, we hope to bounce back in the global textile and apparel exports market. Currently most of the apparel exporters have a good amount of orders in their hand, which is a comforting factor for many in the industry”, he informed.
When quizzed if he expects the global economic scenario to worsen, he optimistically said, “I am not sure if it could worsen, but now everyone is well prepared for the worst. The large European buyers have operations across the globe, which means despite a slowdown in Europe, orders are still coming in”.
Talking about the impending trade deal with the European Union, he said, “The current economic situation in Europe is also playing a role in the delay in implementing the trade deal. The European Union parliament is meeting in September after which we expect something positive to happen”.
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