Bangladesh

12b dollars from exports not received yet

In the outgoing fiscal 2022-23, approximately USD 12 billion from product exports did not return to Bangladesh, according to a report published by Bangladesh Bank. Additionally, the report indicates that USD 90 million from service exports did not come into the country. 

The report further details that although the value of exported goods in the fiscal year 2022-23 was nearly USD 30 million less than the previous fiscal year (2021-22), the overall exports increased by USD 3.48 billion.  

Official data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) states that the export of goods in the financial year 2022-23 amounted to USD 55.56 billion. However, Bangladesh Bank confirmed that the actual export income received by the country was USD 43.57 billion. This suggests that USD 11.99 billion from the total exports of that fiscal year did not return to the country. 

Readymade garments account for 84 per cent of Bangladesh’s product exports. The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) states that exports of ready-made garments were valued at USD 46.99 billion in the last fiscal year.

However, according to Bangladesh Bank, only USD 36.95 billion was received in the country from the export of readymade garments during the same period. This implies that USD 10.04 billion worth of garment exports in the last fiscal year was not remitted to the country till June. 

Similarly, in the fiscal year 2022-23, jute and jute products worth USD 910 million were exported, but USD 915 million entered the country. Leather and leather products, despite being exported at USD 1.22 billion, brought in USD 1.31 billion to the country. Additionally, home textile products valued at USD 1.10 billion were exported, but only USD 730 million made its way to Bangladesh. 

According to EPB data, service exports were estimated at USD 7.49 billion in the last fiscal year, of which only USD 7.4 billion reached the country. In other words, USD 90 million from the service sector exports did not arrive in the country. 

When questioned, Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Mezbaul Haque informed, “We have previously highlighted the disparity between the accounts of Bangladesh Bank and EPB. We calculate the amount of export money based on what comes through the bank. On the other hand, EPB provides statistics by consolidating various accounts, including export processing zone (EPZ), short shipment, and discount. A tripartite committee is actively working to explain the differences between Bangladesh Bank and EPB figures. Many aspects will become clearer once the committee’s report is available.” 

Responding to another inquiry, Mezbaul Haque noted that income from the export of goods is often delayed, and re-exports are also common.  

In contrast, Mohammad Hatim, the executive president of BKMEA, the association of knitwear industry owners, told Prothom Alo, “For several months, we have been expressing concerns about the confusion in EPB’s export statistics. Simultaneously, we have been urging Bangladesh Bank for a considerable time to disclose information about those not bringing in export earnings within the stipulated 120-day period. However, Bangladesh Bank has not provided us with any information. Consequently, it is challenging for us to explain why the exports of readymade garments worth USD 10 billion did not materialize in the last financial year.” 

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