NBR studying way to boost furniture export

FE REPORT | Monday, 11 April 2022

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has started the process to conduct a feasibility study, aiming to find ways on how to boost export earnings from the country's furniture sector.

The NBR has formed a high-powered committee to come up with a report, including necessary recommendations and action plans, on whether partial bond facility can be provided to the furniture sector against 100 per cent bank guarantee for the export development in the sector, said an official.

The seven-member committee was formed in a meeting held last month, with a member (customs: export, bond and IT) of NBR in the chair. A letter has recently been issued in this regard.

The meeting then asked the committee to submit a report to the NBR within 15 days. Representatives and stakeholders of the furniture sector attended the meeting.

There is a huge export potential in the sector, the furniture exporters association told the meeting.

But the labour and technology intensive sector is not achieving desired goals in the global market due to its inability to handle price competition, said the association.

China is gradually moving away from the sector due to increasing labour cost, the meeting discussed.

The furniture exporters association expressed hopes that Bangladesh would be able to fill in the vacuum created by China's absence.

It is possible to boost export earnings from the furniture sector like apparels if the sector gets required policy support from the government, the association told the meeting.

When contacted, Bangladesh Furniture Exporters Association President KM Akhtaruzzaman said Bangladesh's furniture export volume would increase further if the NBR gave a bonded warehouse facility to the sector.

A high-powered committee has been formed to conduct a feasibility study in this regard, he mentioned.

Bangladesh achieved around US$79.47 million export earnings from the furniture sector in the 2020-21 fiscal year and it was around $90 million in fiscal year 2019-20, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.

In the last decade, the country's furniture exports have increased around 266 per cent.

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