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Info lack major obstacle to export dev: Experts

Published : 31 Mar 2023 10:57 PM

Insufficient information is the major obstacle to export development on the global market as foreign and local traders are not getting the latest information about the market situation, experts said.

However, foreign buyers are not able to easily know various information including the country's market, products, export capacity, they added.

The global recession caused by the pandemic coronavirus and the Russia-Ukraine war has led to foreign exchange crises in various countries around the world, Bangladesh is also in trouble with this.

Foreign exchange crisis is disrupting the country's import and export activities.

Apart from this, the business and trade has also suffered due to the shortage of energy.

Experts are urging us to increase foreign income to overcome the problem.In this case, they are talking about increasing exports.

The government and entrepreneurs have also started working towards this goal.

In this case, the government needs to provide latest data for promoting Bangladesh on the global market.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), 729 products of Bangladesh are exported to 161 countries of the world.

Bangladesh imports essential raw materials, finished products, capital equipment and food products from more than 50 countries of the world to meet domestic demand.

In order to find new markets, exporters look for buyers in private practice.

Apart from this, government-appointed missions and commercial counsel offices in various countries also look for buyers for domestic entrepreneurs.

Various fairs and business weeks are held to promote the products of Bangladesh, in which business delegations from different countries participate, but that is not enough.

Traders say that there is little contact between importers or traders of these countries about Bangladeshi products at these missions and commercial counsel offices.

Although the fair of Bangladeshi products is not held every year.

Foreign buyers or sellers search for information about countries and products of interest, including Bangladesh, on the website of the International Trade Center (ITC).

This website, which is known as a global business hub, is full of information about different countries, but it does not have updated information about Bangladesh.

As a result, foreign buyers remain in the dark about Bangladesh's export capacity, exportable products, markets, production processes and prices.

Recently visited, the ITC website had some information for 2021 and 2022.

No information was found in it up to the current year 2023.

In February this year, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) sent a letter to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to provide complete import-export information on the international website, a NBR official said.

However, EPB has not yet been informed by NBR.

A senior official of the NBR said, "The issue has been discussed. Although the import-export information is available in NBR, we are looking into whether we have the jurisdiction to provide information on the ITC website or not."

A letter from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) to the NBR said that the International Trade Center (ICT) website is a reliable site for foreign trade.

All import and export information of the world is available from this website.

It provides data on Bangladesh export products based on the data of some importing countries of Bangladesh.

Using this information does not serve the purpose.

The letter also said that if it is possible to provide the import-export information of Bangladesh in ITC, it will be easily available to the foreign buyers.

If this can be done, it can also be helpful in expanding the products of Bangladesh.

About this, EPB Vice Chairman AHM Ahsan said that there is no update for now as NBR did not reply to the letter yet.

He said, "All the world's export-import data is on the website of the International Trade Center (ITC). There, the data related to Bangladeshi products, market, product prices are not being updated for many days. The NBR has updated this information. That is why we have requested them. If it is within NBR's jurisdiction, let them arrange for it. If NBR thinks that they do not have the authority to upload on that website, then they (NBR) will tell those who have the authority to do it."

Vice President of Exporters Association Mohammad Hatem said, "If there is no information in ITC, then the buyers will not know about the import demand and export potential of Bangladesh. It is important to update the information in ITC to know and inform foreigners about Bangladesh's market. NBR or the concerned authorities who are there, need to start the work quickly."