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ADB predicts a slowdown for garment export growth in Bangladesh

An updated assessment of economic trends and prospects in developing Asia forecasts a slowdown in the growth of Bangladesh's ready-made garment exports in the current fiscal year following a series of deadly industrial accidents in the country.Export growth is projected to slow down to 7.0 per cent on an expected weak expansion in garment exports because of some unfavourable buyer reaction in the aftermath of fatal factory fires and the horrific factory collapse. This projection is significantly lower than the government's estimate at 12.3 per cent for the year ending June 30 2014, which includes higher garment exports.

Highlighting key findings at a press conference in Dhaka, Mohammad Zahid Hossain, principal economist of ADB's (Asian Development Bank) Bangladesh Resident Mission also said labour unrest and a less competitive exchange rate may also curtail sales.

The bank's data shows Bangladesh's overall exports grew by 10.7 per cent in the fiscal year to June 2013, up from a rise of 6.2 per cent the year earlier, largely because of higher demand for low-end garments.

Garment exports, which provide close to four-fifths of export earnings, grew by 12.7 per cent, doubling the 6.6 per cent growth recorded in the prior year. This growth reflected higher demand in the EU and US, as well as faster expansion into new markets, according to the ADB.


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