Bangladesh needs export diversification: IFC

16 Jan '20
2 min read
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group has identified leather and footwear, plastics and light engineering as potential sectors that can help diversify Bangladesh’s export basket. These sectors will also create greater access to global markets for domestic products, according to a new report released by IFC recently.

The report, titled ‘Building Competitive Sectors for Export Diversification: Opportunities and Policy Priorities for Bangladesh’, highlighted the need for diversifying Bangladesh's export basket to sustain accelerated economic growth, increase investment opportunities and create more jobs, particularly for women.

To sustain the growth trajectory and reduce overdependence on any single item, IFC country manager Wendy Werner said Bangladesh needs to build a strong manufacturing ecosystem and develop new products, while paving the way for large-scale job creation and poverty reduction.

The report identified the lack of environmental and social compliance, poor handling of raw materials, the shortage of skilled workforce, the delay in relocating tanneries, poor access to finance, technological constraints, limited availability of accessories and components, and limited product and markets as the major constraints on the leather sector.

It made short-medium-long term recommendations for policymakers on strategy development to integrate priority sectors with the global value chain.

The IFC publication compares Bangladesh's export performance to several comparator countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, China and India, to identify where Bangladesh can improve.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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