Bangladesh is now considered to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world. And not to mention, exports and the ongoing remittance inflows, continue to be the main drivers of Bangladesh’s economic growth. Bangladesh export increased by more than 34% to $52.08 billion and according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), it’s the highest export earning for the fiscal year 2021–2022. Other than the apparel industry, there are many other sectors that are playing a significant role in the country’s export earnings.
Bangladesh’s Top Export Partners
Bangladesh has several key export destinations. As of 2020-2021, here are 10 of the most notable ones.
|Export Partner||Value ($ in millions)||% of the total|
Top Exported Products of Bangladesh
Based on Bangladesh export statistics, here are the top most exported products of Bangladesh.
|Product||Total Export in %|
|Jute and Jute Manufacture||3.6|
|Fish, Shrimps, and Prawns||1.4|
|Leather and Leather Manufactures||1.8|
|Plastic and Plastic Products||0.3|
1. Readymade Garments
According to Statista, the export value of RMG sector in Bangladesh reached approximately $31.46 billion. This was an increase over the previous year when Bangladesh’s RMG exports were almost $28 billion. A wide range of knitwear and woven garment goods, including shirts, pants, T-shirts, jeans, jackets, and sweaters, are included in the RMG exports of Bangladesh. In the recent fiscal year, Bangladesh’s knitwear export rose significantly. The Export Promotion Bureau’s (EPB) most recent figures show that knitwear products saw a rise of 36.88% to $23.2 billion in FY22. Moreover, the export earnings of knitwear products have surpassed woven garments. In FY22, the market for woven clothing increased by 33.82% to $19.4 billion. There’s no doubt that the apparel industry’s continued expansion has contributed to Bangladesh’s sustained economic growth. The major foreign markets for Bangladesh’s RMG exports in FY22 are the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, and Belgium.
2. Jute and Jute Manufacture
Bangladesh’s jute industry is going through an exceptionally successful period. Jute goods exports stand second after RMG in the recent fiscal year. Every year Bangladesh produces 7.0 to 8.0 million bales of raw jute, and the nation exports 0.6 to 0.8 million bales of raw jute each year. China, India, and Pakistan are the main importers of raw jute from Bangladesh. In the fiscal year 2021-22, Bangladesh’s raw jute exports brought in BDT 6.59 billion.
3. Fish, Shrimps, and Prawns
The aquaculture sector of Bangladesh is a major contributor to food security and foreign exchange earnings and plays a prominent role in the Bangladeshi economy. According to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), foreign exchange earnings from shrimp exports in the last six months were $268.95 million, a jump from the $194.58 million registered in the same period of FY2020-21. Besides shrimp, live fish exports have also grown by 34%, earning $4.41 million. Frozen fish exports, however, have taken a hit, falling from $66.33 million in the first six months of the FY2020-21 to $53.05 million compared to the same period this year. Bangladeshi aquaculture products are exported to more than 50 countries worldwide, with the major importers being the European Union (EU), USA, Japan, Russia, and China. Export earnings from frozen and live fish in FY22 grew by 11.64% to $532.94 million compared with that of $477.37 million in the last fiscal. Export earnings from shrimp increased by 23.84% to $407.25 million in FY22.
4. Leather and Leather Manufactures
The Bangladeshi leather sector recorded growth across all categories in the first nine months of the current fiscal year. From July 2021 to March 2022, Bangladeshi leather exports increased by 30.95%, as compared to the same period of the prior fiscal year, generating $896.8 million. In the nine months to March 2022, leather goods exports totaled $242.0 million, increasing by 34.41% from the same period of the past fiscal year. The commerce ministry is drawing up a ten-year perspective plan, which includes a target to increase the leather sector’s export earnings from below $1 billion to $10-12 billion by 2030. Italy, Spain and Hong Kong are the major markets for Bangladesh’s leather and leather goods.
5. Home Textile
The Home textile sector has gradually emerged as a new player in textile production and exports from Bangladesh. The home textile export basket of the country includes bed linen, bed sheet and other bedroom textiles, bath linen, carpets and rugs, blankets, kitchen linen, curtains, cushions and cushion cover, and covers for quilts. Exporters earned $1.3 billion from the sale of home textiles from July 2021 to April 2022 of the current fiscal year, a 39% increase over the same period from the previous fiscal year. The major export destinations for Bangladeshi home textiles include Europe, the US, Japan, Canada, and Australia.
6. Vegetable Products
Bangladeshi vegetable exports look to be on the verge of taking off, and in a glorious way. A recent Financial Express report states that the country’s vegetable shipments have achieved 100% growth in the July-August period of the current FY. Bangladesh at present exports 0.07 million to 0.10 million tonnes of vegetables to 52 countries annually. Agricultural products, including vegetables, fruits, and spices, fetched $1.16 billion with a 13.04% growth in FY22. Exporters of vegetables, fruits, and other perishable agriproducts strongly believe that Bangladesh can earn much more than $1 billion from agriproduct exports.
7. Pharmaceutical Products
The pharmaceutical sector’s export revenues have increased dramatically in recent years. This is due to the country’s increased capacity and access to new sales channels. Local pharmaceutical businesses earned $163.83 million from July to April of the current fiscal year 2021-22, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. This is over 27% more than what they made during the same period last year. The world is now well aware of the capabilities of local pharmaceutical companies, as Bangladesh is now exporting drugs to around 160 countries after meeting almost 98% of the local demand. According to industry insiders, more than 20 Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies, including Incepta, Beacon, Square, Popular, Eskayef, Beximco, Opsonin, ACI, Renata, and Ziska, exported COVID drugs. Local pharmaceutical businesses earned $163.83 million from July to April of the current fiscal year 2021-22, according to statistics from the Export Promotion Bureau. This is over 27% more than they made in the same period last year.
8. Plastic and Plastic Products
Export of plastic products has risen to a great extent and is poised to be the next big export earner. If the present yearly growth trend remains stable at 24%, plastic toy exports are predicted to reach an estimated $466.31 million by 2030. Toys accounted for around $37.10 million, or 29%, of the total quantity of plastic goods exported, $128.77 million during the July to April period of the current fiscal year. Bangladeshi plastic products are exported to some 23 countries, including the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Poland, Spain, and Canada, while various items like house decor items, automobiles, medical equipment, and other supportive products of export industries are being made from plastics.
Bangladesh is now the third-largest exporter of bicycles to the European Union and the eighth-largest exporter in the world, according to data by Eurostat. The European Union (EU) countries are one of the biggest markets for bicycles, where consumers buy around 18 million units a year. Thereby Bangladeshi manufacturers are targeting the European markets for exports, especially the UK, Germany, Italy, and Netherlands. There are three major local exporters in the bicycle industry, with Meghna Group being the largest, then comes Pran-RFL, and Alita Bangladesh. Bicycle exports have brought Bangladesh $84.58 million in FY 2020–21, a 40% increase year over year.
10. Terry Towel
The Bangladeshi terry towel business is exclusively focused on exports. It produces and exports a variety of towels and similar products. Bangladesh now exports home textiles and towels worth $1.2 billion annually. The EPB data showed that in the first ten months of FY 2021-22, Bangladesh exported $39.52 million worth of terry towels.
Despite the fact that the textile & apparel sector still remains the predominant contributor to the country’s export earnings, other sectors such as frozen fish, pharmaceuticals, home textile, leather products, agro-products, and plastics products are emerging progressively. Overall, Bangladesh is slowly moving towards being a major exporter of these goods in South Asia, and is on the cusp of becoming a key figure in these sectors.