BANGLADESH'S export is greatly dependent on European Union (EU) and US markets. About 73 per cent of our export goes to EU and USA. Although Bangladesh exports more than 737 commodities to above 200 countries, 81 per cent of our export earnings come from export of Ready Made Garments (Woven and Knit) to these countries.
Brexit has given rise to a great concern for us as United Kingdom (UK) is one of our largest export markets after Germany (14.50 per cent, i.e., worth US$ 4.12 billion). About 11 per cent of our exports (US$ 3.2 billion) go to UK. Bangladesh needs to renegotiate with UK for preferential market access and enjoy same treatment from UK as it enjoyed against export to EU countries.
The government as well as leading chambers of the country should chalk out a strategic plan and approach the new government of UK accordingly as it assumes power. As it will take two more years for UK to complete the formalities to get out of EU, policy makers and think tanks of Bangladesh will get sufficient time to do their home work.
Our export target for FY 2015-16 is US$ 33.50 billion. We must retain the existing market to achieve the target. At the same time we should continue to explore new markets, otherwise the target of earning US$ 60 billion by 2021 will remain far too distant a dream.
Considering all the issues, we should prepare ourselves to overcome all the challenges ahead due to the exit of UK from EU.
A.M. Alamgir Hossain