Published:  12:30 AM, 07 January 2019

Export diversification and furniture sector's potential

That Bangladesh's earning from the export of furniture showed massive growths over the last few years and the trend is ever on the rise is very encouraging. We are gratified to learn that the exports have grown about 2.5 times over last six years.

Data provided by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) say the country earned $27.14million from this sector in 2011-12 fiscal year, which reached $63.18 million in 2017-18 fiscal. And that, according to EPB, Bangladesh earned $33.72 million by exporting furniture during the July-December period of the current fiscal, which is 40.56 percent higher when compared to the export earnings during the corresponding period in the previous year, only shows a bright prospect of the sector.

Market insiders and experts attribute this increasing trend in export of the country's furniture to a higher production cost in major importing countries and cash incentives at home. According to them, the global market has started preferring Bangladeshi furniture for its good quality and design at lower prices.

They also are of the opinion that furniture can be a potential export item for the country as there is big demand for it in international market that is expanding with time at a rapid pace. The size of global furniture market was worth $463.12billion in 2016 but it is now expected that the market would grow as high as $570.72 billion by 2021. And in view of the rising demand for the Bangladeshi furniture it can be said without hesitation that the country can grab a huge portion of the expanding international furniture market. 

It is our expectation everyone concerned including the government will act more vigorously to tap in the international market and let this potential export sector of the country grow to its full potential. Bangladesh is now on the threshold of entering the next level of development. The country has of late earned the official recognition of a developing country -- promotion by one notch from the status of a least developed country.

We have been time and again saying that this promotion will not only bring in advantages for us but it will also bring in some challenges for the economy. And in order to successfully face those challenges the country will have to reduce its overdependence on some specific export sectors, more specifically on the readymade garments sector, by diversifying export items and tapping in new markets. Facilitating the promising furniture sector to flourish can help this cause to some extent. 

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