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Lack of product diversion now affecting export market during pandemic

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22nd-Jun-2020       
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BANGLADESH'S export revenue would be severely affected in 2020 as the country depended on limited destinations and all those counties had been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), merchandise exports were concentrated in five markets, including the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, and all of the top five markets had been severely affected by Covid-19. The impact of the export will cast the overall economy as the country highly dependent on apparel export and remittance inflow, both are under threat.
Data showed that 15.1 per cent of Bangladesh's total exports go to Germany, 13.8 per cent to the US, 8.1 per cent to the UK, 7 per cent to Spain and 6.8 per cent to France. Other least developed countries are also exposed to this vulnerability of relying on limited export destinations. The report projected that textile and clothing product exporters in the least developing countries were likely to experience a significant fall in export revenues in 2020. The WTO report said declining demands, as well as supply disruptions, had weighed significantly on the LDC exports. Citing the fall in Bangladesh's export earnings by 83 per cent in April this year, the report said that Bangladesh and Cambodia were hit by order cancellations worth several billion dollars due to the pandemic. Moreover, some retailers in the export destinations have started to file for bankruptcy protection, causing significant worries to suppliers in LDCs, as existing contracts risk being cancelled.
The report also said that among the Covid-19 pandemic's far-reaching consequences for the global economy, the LDCs would face the most daunting challenges due to their dependency on a limited range of products exported to a few markets. According to the report, the ongoing pandemic might affect graduation of Bangladesh from the LDC status. Usually, dependency on a few export markets and limited products are always vulnerable to the country but we could not diversify our export markets and products for many years. Now we have to wait until our major markets rebound. Even after the rebound of our traditional markets, Bangladesh will not be able to tap the full potential of the post-Covid situation due to lack of durable products.

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