Severe crises of gas and electricity, the dollar crisis, and global supply chain disruption due to the Russia-Ukraine war hit Bangladesh’s trade the outgoing year.
Experts and businesses said that Bangladesh’s export sector performed well in 2022 despite various turbulences at home and abroad, including global inflation and a crisis of energy for industrial production.
According to the media report, they said that the country’s trade and business had fallen behind in 2022 more than they anticipated due to global economic instability.
Higher import payments than export earnings, declining foreign reserves, and food and fuel price increases will be the bones in Bangladesh’s throat in 2022, according to economists and business leaders.
Economists suggested ensuring good governance, tackling corruption, and diversifying exports to face economic challenges, including the foreign reserves crisis, in the coming days.
They also feared that the global economy might face a recession in 2023 due to the Russia-Ukraine war, causing a decline in the demand for Bangladeshi export goods in western countries.
Bangladesh’s trade and business have been suffering since March 2022 due to global supply chain disruption and fuel price increases after Russia started the war in Ukraine in late February, Zaidi Sattar, chairman of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh told the media.
He said that in an export-oriented growth policy, diversification was a must to face future economic challenges.
Despite myriad problems in the financial sector and leakages in project implementation, the economist was optimistic about a rebound in trade and business in 2023.
He suggested the modernization of the tax system, saying that Bangladesh was lagging behind in trade openness.
He proposed policy support for other export sectors, similar to that of readymade garment sector, to diversify.
Speaking to the media, Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, pointed out that along with high prices industries also faced a severe energy crisis in 2022 due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
The price hikes in fuel and food and the appreciation of the dollar led to higher production and living costs in 2022.
Despite international challenges, he said, the Bangladesh readymade garment sector performed well in 2022.
Faruque said that the RMG export business might face challenges in 2023 with global consumers cutting their clothing budgets due to economic uncertainties.
Export Promotion Bureau data showed that the country’s export earnings in FY22 grew by 34.38% or $ 13.32 billion to $52.08 billion from $38.75 billion in FY21.