IFC expert suggests Bangladesh diversify export basket to foray into new markets

An international investment and policy expert says Bangladesh can earn more foreign currencies by making a foray into new markets for its products besides readymade garment.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 24 Jan 2016, 05:26 PM
Updated : 24 Jan 2016, 05:26 PM

He says the diversification of products will also woo investment; hence help raise the GDP and generate more jobs.

International Finance Corporation (IFC) Head of Strategy Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services James Emery presented the keynote paper at a seminar styled ‘Opportunities for Competitive Manufacturing’ on Sunday.

The seminar was organised as part of Bangladesh Investment and Policy Summit 2016 in Dhaka.

“The longer countries can stay competitive and continue to expand manufacturing, the more benefits they reap in terms of job creation and GDP growth,” he said.

Bangladesh has possibilities in electronics, ship, leather, food processing, chemical, machinery, and building material industries, according to Emery.

He also thinks hiked cost of labour in China has created an opportunity for Bangladesh to attract the Chinese investors’ attention.

He said Bangladesh can follow the example of Vietnam whose export earnings rose from $30 billion in 1995 to $145 billion in 2014 following the diversification.

Bangladesh can also follow the same path because the RMG sector has already done the branding job, Emery said.

He suggested focusing on the agenda of infrastructure, supportive policies, strong institutions, labour force skills, technical and managerial skills, and access to finance.

Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters Association President Saiful Islam said policymakers should move to diversify products.