Dhaka, Bangladesh – The government has set export target for the current fiscal at US$17.588 billion, marking a 13 per cent growth over that of the previous fiscal, officials said on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Commerce has convened a meeting today (Thursday) to finalize the export target, proposed by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), for fiscal 2009-10 (FY10).

Leaders of trade bodies, exporters and officials concerned will attend the meeting to be presided over by commerce minister Faruk Khan.

“We’ve estimated the export target in consultation with all stakeholders,” Vice-Chairman of the EPB Shahab Ullah said, adding that the EPB is hopeful of achieving the export target for this fiscal.

The EPB, while fixing the country’s export target, took the prevailing situation in the regional countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia and India, into consideration particularly that of apparel sector, he added.

The meeting will also fix specific export targets for the Bangladeshi missions abroad in line with their previous performance, the EPB officials added.

The export target has been fixed on the basis of the last four fiscal year’s export performance that has increased almost $2.0 billion each year, they noted.

“We’ve estimated the target considering the global economic meltdown,” an EPB senior official said, adding that exports of both woven garment and knitwear would be increased further this fiscal because of price competitiveness over China.

The export target for readymade garment, officially known as woven garment, has been set at $6.687 billion for the FY10, recording a 13 per cent growth over that of the previous fiscal while knitwear export target has been set at $7.297 billion against $6.429 billion.

The export target for frozen food has been increased to $ $468 million for FY10 from $454.53 million earned in the previous fiscal year, according to the EPB estimation.

In fiscal 2008-09, the country’s export earnings stood at $15.565 billion, which was 4.50 per cent lower than the target of $16.298 billion set for the year, the EPB data showed.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-17September09-1:42 am (BST)