It needs no mentioning that the existing policies implemented by the government over the last years have been fruitful towards boosting the country’s export earnings. It is encouraging to note that Bangladesh's exports to India in just nine months touched a record high of US$ 1.5 bln for the first time. Industry insiders perceive this as a great opportunity to further develop economic relations with the neighboring country. Exporters and economists are of the opinion that if the current positive trend continues, Bangladesh's exports to the Indian market may cross $2 billion milestones by the end of the current financial year.
It is of great importance that the current momentum
of our export to the Indian market be sustained through
pragmatic and strategic measures
However, Bangladesh has not been able to capture a greater share of the Indian import market and Bangladesh – India trade deficit is still a major concern. As reported by this daily on Tuesdsy, Bangladesh imports goods from India worth around US$ 10.17 bln while India imports goods from Bangladesh worth only around US$ 1.28 bln, which translates to a trade deficit of around US$ 9 bln. Hence, Bangladesh should redirect its attention as to how it can exploit the opportunities the growing Indian import market offers. It is of great importance that the current momentum of our export to the Indian market be sustained through pragmatic and strategic measures so that our ambition of reducing trade deficit with India is realized on the ground.
A comprehensive policy package coupled with supportive governmental incentives will help our export industry grow further. Bangladesh needs to pay more attention to devise an alternative strategy that encourages diversification of exports, both in terms of products and destination. The government's recent initiatives to promote thrust sectors including pharmaceuticals, agro-products, plastics, ICT, shipbuilding, furniture, are moving in the right direction. But at the same time it is true that in order to sustain the current tempo of the country’s export growth, our efforts to solve infrastructure, power, and institutional bottlenecks need to be followed through.