The country's overall export earnings went up by $ 1,871.60 million in the last financial year (2005-06) from $8654.52 million of 2004-05, riding on the continuous good performance of the knitwear sector.
During 2005-06 fiscal year, exports fetched $10,526.16 million, registering a 21.63 per cent growth, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics.
Knitwear products continued to maintain a robust growth, posting a 35.58 per cent rise. Knitwear items during the period fetched $3,816.98 million against $2,819.47 million of the previous financial year (2004-05).
Export of woven garments had also been able to maintain a moderate growth during 2005-06 fiscal fetching $4,083.82 million against $3,598.20 million, up by 13.50 per cent over the previous fiscal (2004-05).
After independence this is the first time that the country has crossed a mark of more than $10 billion of export, showing a rise by 21.63 per cent over the previous year.
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Vice Chairman Mir Shahabuddin Mohammad Tuesday expressed the hope that the trend would continue this year as the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) embarked on an aggressive campaign in some major markets including the US to increase income from this sector.
Apart from knitwear, export earnings from leather, raw jute, frozen food, petroleum by-products, textile fabrics, bicycle and computer services also recorded growth during 2005-06 financial year.
Export of jute goods, footwear, electronics, chemical products, ceramic tableware, leather bags, home textile and purses exceeded that of the previous fiscal, but failed to achieve the target.
Earnings from agro-processing food, vegetables and melamine tableware recorded a negative growth during the period and earnings from tea, ceramic tableware and handicrafts also declined.
Frozen food exports accounted for $459.11 million during 2005-06, against $420.74 million of 2004-05, showing a growth of 9.12 per cent.
Jute goods fetched $361.03 million in 2005-06, against $307.48 million of 2004-05, recording a 17.42 per cent growth.
Earnings from leather was $255.27 million during the period, against $ 220.93 million of the previous years recording a 16.45 per cent growth.
Chemical products worth $205.58 million were exported during the period against $197.18 million of the previous fiscal. The exports went up by 4.26 per cent.
In an interview with the FE, the EPB vice chairman said, "Due to proper patronisation by the government and appropriate steps taken by businessmen, the overall 21.63 per cent export growth has been possible."