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Covid-19 paralyses export, import

Trade deficit hits at $10.77bn

Published : 02 Jun 2020 10:05 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 05:59 PM

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has virtually paralysed export and import activities, dropping trade deficitto $10.77 billion in the first eight months (July-February)of fiscal year (FY) 2019-20.

The country’s merchandise trade deficit with the rest of the world declined slightly during the time over the same period of the previous fiscal.

Experts said Coronavirus has emerged as a global threat that made a huge impact on the country’s trade, which may increase the trade gap in next few months.

They said the deadly virus has spread to different countries of the world including the Middle East, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and the USA.

As part of its move, commercial activities all over the world almost stopped due to the shutdown to fight coronavirus, they informed.

This figure was $10.93 billion in the same period of the previousFY19.
Decline in both export earnings and import payments reduced the trade gap during the period.

Export and import declined by 4.85 percent and 3.87 percent respectively during the period.
On the other hand, the gap in services trade sharply rose during the period under review.

Services trade deficit stood at $2.58 billion in July-February of the current fiscal year, which was $2.06 billion in the same period of FY19.

Economists said the government should diversify products and expand new markets to increase export earnings.
The foreign exchange reserves are in good condition in the country, they said adding that, oil prices are also falling in the world market.

Hence, it is possible to get good results if we can fix the fiscal policy keeping these positive issues in mind, they mentioned.
Senior Research Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)Towfiqul Islam Khan said the country’s export are depended on import because of a large portion of the garments raw materials import from different countries.

The Covid-19 has seriously hampered the country export and import for supply chain Stagnant, he added.
In this regard, economist and former governor of Bangladesh BankDr Salehuddin Ahmed said we have to be a bit tactful to reduce the trade gap.

Now we have to reduce the import of unnecessary, luxury and consumer goods, he mentioned.
On the other hand, we have to try to increase export earnings by finding any alternative system for this, Ahmed added.