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Exports to Turkey see sharp fall in five years

Move to conduct market research


Rezaul Karim | Published: October 23, 2019 10:47:37 | Updated: October 24, 2019 16:14:18


- ADB photo

A sustained fall in exports of Bangladeshi products to Turkey has prompted the government to dig out the causes of the sharp decline, officials said.

To this end, the Bangladesh embassy in Ankara has approached a research firm named 'SIGMA' to conduct a market research, they added.

This is for the first time, the government has undertaken a move to conduct a market research in Turkey, a high official of the commerce ministry told the FE on Sunday.

Five years ago, it was nearly US$ 1.0 billion market in Turkey for Bangladesh-made goods, but it fell to US$400 million in financial year (FY) 2019, he said.

Major exports include articles of apparel and clothing accessories, textile yarn and related products, jute and jute goods, non-metallic mineral products, rubber and articles thereof, tobacco and tobacco products, and leather and leather goods.

Many businesses attributed the downtrend in exports to high depreciation of Turkish lira against US dollars and weak Turkish economy.

"We will conduct a survey of the Turkish market to work out strategies for enhancing the export earnings," said a senior official of the commerce ministry.

The survey, which will begin within the shortest possible time, will also determine the causes of continuous decline in export earnings from the Turkish market, he added.

Asked for comments, Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh, said Bangladesh's exports have been falling gradually in the last couple of years due to duty barriers Turkey imposed to safeguard its local industry.

Besides, Turkey has devalued its currency over 100 per cent. For this reason, export earnings from that country have been on the decline, he said.

Contacted, Additional Secretary (Export) of the commerce ministry Tapan Kanti Ghosh said, "We want to increase the export volume to the Turkey. So, a move is underway to conduct a survey to assess the Turkish market."

In FY 2013-14, Bangladesh's exports to Turkey stood at US$ 856.19 million. After Turkey slapped a 17 per cent duty on the apparels, Dhaka's exports declined to U$ 720.88 million the following year, according to the EPB data.

The export earnings were US$ 661.88 million in FY '16, US$631.63 million in FY '17, and US$ 528.27 million FY '18, the data showed.

Md Moshiul Azam (Shajal), vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said, "Turkey has devalued its lira many times, which is responsible for the fall in export earnings."

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