Bangladesh exports set new quarterly record

DHAKA, Nov 15, 2006 (AFP) – Bangladesh exports grew a record 31.5 per cent to 3.25 billion dollars in the first quarter of the 2006-2007 financial year amid a boom in the textile industry, an official said Wednesday. The growth was powered by a 33.5 percent year-on-year growth of textile shipments such as t-shirts, jeans and other clothing items, data released by the country’s Export Promotion Bureau said.

“It is the biggest ever quarterly expansion in our exports. Garments once again led the way as it contributed some 77 per cent of the exports,” head of the export bureau Mir Shabuddin Mohammad told AFP.

Exports of other items including relatively new items like pharmaceuticals, motor parts, chemicals and frozen food also registered a huge growth, he said.

The textile sector in Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest nations, made unexpected gains after the abolition of a global textile quota regime at the end of December 2004.

“Once again our textile industry has done an impressive job despite stiff competition from countries like China, India and Turkey,” he said.

The export chief said that unrest earlier this year over wages in the industry had had “no impact” on the export earnings.

“It’s