Plastic products drive export expansion

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| Updated:
October 22, 2022 2:49:51 p.m.


The diversification of Bangladesh’s export markets is finding new dimensions with plastic products pivoting trade expansion, seen as vital in the country’s development process onto a higher trajectory.

According to industry sources, export earnings from product shipments are increasing year on year.

Local industrialists exported plastic products worth $48.14 million in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal year 2022-23, marking a 56.55% increase from the last fiscal year 2021, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

During the same period (July-September) of the last fiscal year 2021, the country’s total export earnings from the shipment of plastics amounted to $30.75 million, according to EPB statistics.

A Commerce Department official said on Friday that total exports of plastic products by the end of the current fiscal year 2023 could exceed $200 million.

“Although plastic products have a small share in the country’s foreign trade basket, it has created new hope for Bangladesh in export diversification from the single-product reliance on garments and textiles,” he said. he added.

Nearly 80% of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from annual shipments of garments and textile products.

The current size of the global plastics market is huge – worth around $570 billion – and growing at an average annual rate of 20%, according to manufacturers.

The Commerce Department official said he has set a target to complete shipments worth $200 million in the current fiscal year 2023.

An FE analysis found that despite a decline in plastic product exports in fiscal 2020 amid the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, export revenue rebounded just in the following fiscal year. (fiscal year 2021) with higher growth.

According to the EPB, Bangladesh made shipments worth $119.8 million in fiscal year 2018, which fell to $100.5 million in the following fiscal year 2019.

Shipments rebounded to $115.28 million in fiscal year 2020 and maintained the higher pace in the following fiscal year 2021 with a gain of $166.25 million, according to statistics from the EPB.

The higher pace of exports was also maintained in the last fiscal year 2022, when the country’s plastic products accounted for shipments worth $166.25 million.

FE analysis revealed that plastic waste in the plastic products export basket showed bright light with revenue up 83.74% to $5.99 million in the July-September period. of the current fiscal year 2023, compared to $3.26 million during the same period of the prior fiscal year 2022.

Polyester in its primary form also continued to perform well, with producers exporting $11.82 million worth of product in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, according to EPB data.

PVC bags also performed better, with revenue from shipments increasing 44.58% to $7.33 million in the first quarter.

During the same period of fiscal 2022, revenue from PVC bags was $5.07 million.

India, Vietnam, Taiwan and China are the main importers of Bangladeshi plastic products, according to manufacturers.

Shamim Ahemd, chairman of the Bangladesh Plastic Products Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA), told FE that they hope to cross the $200 million mark in export revenue by the end of the year. current exercise.

“Although the global economic crisis amid the Russian-Ukrainian war has affected our business, we remain hopeful of achieving the goal,” he added.

The Research Director of the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Dr KG Moazzem, said: “If we want to diversify the country’s export basket, plastic products could be a good option because its annual revenues in years from shipping increase.

The government should encourage more local and foreign investment for the expansion of world-class production as well as export, he told FE.

Dr. Moazzem also emphasized the creation of a special economic zone for manufacturers of plastic products.

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