National, Front Page

Non-traditional products may help boost economy

Published : 27 Jul 2020 10:00 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 03:31 PM

In a move to further spike Bangladesh’s export earnings availing the prospects of non-traditional items, the government has planned to export obsolete products to boost the country’s economy by expanding its export basket.

Sources said here to reduce dependence on the conventional export products; the government has taken the initiatives to diversify export products.

Besides normal time, the pandemic of the century- the COVID-19 has also brought to the fore the prospect of finding out products that are not now being valued to add to the country’s export basket.

The sources said the concerned authorities have already targeted 37 different obsolete products in a bid to increase the foreign earnings and expand the export basket as well.

Among them, demand for products specially relating to personal protection equipment and other health related products has increased significantly in recent times due to worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The other products that are being emphasized as an export diversification initiative include ships, medicines, furniture, electronics and home appliances, agro-processing materials, paper, printed and packaging materials, ICT, rubber, footwear, and polished diamond, according to government officials.

Although coronavirus is a new danger, but it has brought new trade opportunities to the country. Exports can also increase if masks, sanitizers, handgloves, shields and protective clothing are produced maintaining standards.

Bangladesh is already exporting such products to European countries and America. Besides, there is an opportunity to export huge amount of medicines.

The country's main source of export earnings are garments, jute, leather, shrimp, and others. If for any reason export of these products fall, country's economy face risk. From this thought search for obsolete products has begun which are widely produced in the country and also have demand abroad. At the moment there is a huge demand for corona protection materials worldwide.

To this end, the government has urged to produce and export search products that have global demand beside existing readymade garment, jute, leather, and others.

If new sources can be added to the export basket, the concerned people are hopeful that the domestic and foreign investment will increase and a large employment opportunities can be created.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while announcing the national budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021 in Parliament said, "The government remains committed to promote export products diversification and develop the quality of our export products with a view to infusing dynamism into export trade and consolidating Bangladesh's position in the competitive global trade situation".

"To that end, it has identified a number of products with high export potentials, which includes ship building, pharmaceutical products, furniture, diversified jute products, electronics and home appliances, agro- processed products, paper, printed and packaging products, ICT, rubber, footwear, cut and polished diamond, etc", he added.

According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), in the last few years, the export of non-conventional products from Bangladesh has increased. More than 100 products are there including Bicycles, Ships, Potatoes, Handicrafts, Crabs and Kuchia, Wigs, Cow Guts, Charcoal, Hats, Fishing Hooks, Mosquito Nets, Dry Food, Petals, Duck Feather Products, Lungi, Almonds, Spectacle Frames, Artificial Flowers, Golf Shafts, Toys, Agar, Umbrella Sticks, Vegetable Seeds, Coconut Husks and Shells, etc.

EBP said, hats export will bring around Tk 2000 crore annually. A huge amount of foreign exchange is earned by exporting cow and buffalo guts and dung. 

Around Tk 200 crore are being earned every year by exporting this in China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam. In the outgoing 2018-19 financial year, artificial hair and human hair more than US$ 3.25 crore have been exported. US-based institute Research and Markets Global Outlook and Forecast said, the global market for wigs will be US$1000 crore.