Beyond the doom and gloom outlook due to the global COVID-19 pandemic the Bangladesh economy is actually on path to rebounding to its former days of strong growth.
Exports registered a 44% increase in July to $3.91 billion from $2.71 billion in June.
The country’s exports witnessed a nearly 17% decline previously because of the coronavirus outbreak in export markets.
Key sectors such as pharmaceuticals, jute, home textiles and agricultural all saw double digit gains however the RMG sector export earnings decreased by 1.98% to $3.24 billion in July. It was also bad news for the woven garments and leather industries but knitwear products and fisheries rallied narrowly.
Bangladesh’s jute sector found new avenues to increase exports to Pakistan with the country offering zero tariffs on imports from Bangladesh. Bangladeshi jute exporters benefitted from Pakistan suspending its trade ties with India, which is the other large jute producing nation in the world.
Bangladesh solidified its leading position in the global RMG export market capturing 6.8% of the total market.
Bangladesh is set to recover from the losses incurred by the prolonged coronavirus outbreak by looking to expand its industrial output through innovation and repurposing.
RMG manufacturers switched to producing medical protective gowns and face masks, whereas the pharmaceutical industries started mass producing various medicines to meet local and international demands.
Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves also grew to over $37 billion in July shattering all previous records due to a surge in remittance from Bangladeshi migrant workers.
Beyond 2020 the Bangladesh economy is projected to witness further growth buoyed by the opening of the Padma multi-purpose bridge that will connect the south western districts with the capital by road and rail. Moreover the first unit of the Roopur nuclear power plant is also likely to go in to commercial operation by 2023.
Japan and France are also providing substantial economic support to Bangladesh in the form of grants or soft loans to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The fallout from the coronavirus outbreak has however predictably hurt the country’s defence modernisation drive due to delay in contract signings, inspections and deliveries. The sector is unlikely to witness any major contracts being awarded for new equipment this year.