Bangladesh exports soar as orders shift from China: industry

DHAKA, September 8, 2010 (AFP) – Bangladesh said Wednesday exports leapt more than 25 percent year on year in July, with manufacturers linking the jump to a shift in orders from China to the low-cost South Asian country. In July, the first month of its financial year, Bangladesh shipped 1.82 billion dollars of goods — the highest export figure in the country’s 40-year history, the Export Promotion Bureau said.

This was due to a sharp rise in apparel exports as firms chose to buy from Bangladesh instead of China in a bid to keep costs down, Jalal Ahmed, the head of the EPB, told AFP.

“Our textile exporters are receiving more orders from new markets which previously would source products in China,” he said.

EPB figures showed shipments to new markets such as Turkey, Japan, South Africa and China grew 200 percent, although Western Europe and the United States still account for nearly 90 percent of Bangladesh’s export market.

Apparel exports rose nearly 30 percent year-on-year, with overall shipments up 25.5 percent, Ahmed said, adding that exports of eco-friendly jute — known as hessian in Europe or burlap in the United States — have also surged.

The figures come as Beijing has been force