The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has proposed setting the country's goods and service export target at US$ 44.50 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2018-19, officials said.
It proposed fixing the merchandise export target at $ 40.0 billion, 7.14 per cent or $2.5 billion higher than that of the current FY's target of $ 37.5 billion.
The EPB has also projected $ 4.50 billion in earnings from service sector exports, 8.52 per cent higher than estimated $ 4.14 billion earnings in the current fiscal.
Earnings from the service sector include government's goods and services, transportation, telecommunication services, travel and computer services, according to EPB.
The proposals were placed at a meeting of the EPB recently where leaders of major export-earning sectors, including ready-made garment (RMG) and frozen fish, were present.
The state-owned agency also sent the target proposal to the commerce ministry, an EPB official said.
The ministry would finally announce the target, he added.
Apparel sector leaders opined that the export target could be achieved if the political situation remains stable and there is no hike in existing tax rates.
The EPB expected that export receipts would reach $ 41.00 billion -- $ 37.33 billion from goods and $ 4.14 billion from service sectors -- by the end of the current FY, reflecting an 8.95 per cent growth over the previous fiscal.
"We have initially proposed setting the export earnings target for FY'19 through consultation with all stakeholders," an EPB official said.
In the current fiscal year, all major nine export items have been projected to grow.
Earnings from knitwear export could increase by 8.23 per cent, woven garments by 7.07 per cent and home textiles by 9.11 per cent.
Leather and leather products have been projected to grow by 2.81 per cent, medicines by 12.95 per cent, jute and jute goods by 5.11 per cent, agricultural products by 8.73 per cent, plastic products by 0.33 per cent and ceramic products by 2.56 per cent.
"The proposed target can be achieved if the political situation remains stable," said Mahmud Hasan Khan, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
To help achieve the projected target, the government should not increase the proposed source tax and corporate tax rates, he opined.
BGMEA president Md Siddiqur Rahman at a recent press conference urged the government to fully withdraw source tax, applicable to sales, not to profit, to help the sector face the ongoing challenges.
The EPB proposed export targets of $ 16.70 billion and $ 16.81 billion from knit and woven products respectively in the next FY.
It also proposed $ 1.12 billion export target with a growth projection of 5.11 per cent for the jute and jute goods sector.
The EPB expects that the country ends the current fiscal year with $ 41.48 billion earnings -- $37.33 billion from goods and $ 4.14 billion from the service sector.
The export data for the service sector, however, is not available throughout the year, even in the previous years.
Bangladesh earned $ 34.65 billion in the FY 2016-17, $ 34.10 billion in the FY 2015-16, $ 31.20 billion in the FY 2014-15, $ 30.18 billion in the FY 2013-14 and $ 27.02 billion in the FY 2012-13 through exports.
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