Import from India has increased sharply from April till October, making Bangladesh the fourth largest export destination, as imports through sea routes from distant countries have been hampered in recent times.
As per a report published in Indian newspaper, the Business Standard, Indian export to Bangladesh was 81% up between April and October period of FY 2021-22 (fiscal year of India starts in April) amounting to $7.7 billion.
Two years ago, Bangladesh was the ninth largest export destination of India which has now moved five notches up, reaching fourth position.
In the last seven months of the Indian FY 2021-22, India exported the highest amount to the USA followed by UAE, China, Hong Kong and Bangladesh.
The top five commodities that Bangladesh imports from India are --- cotton, cereals, electricity and fuel, vehicle parts and machinery and mechanical appliances.
Industry insiders said that the export has increased from Bangladesh significantly after tackling the covid impact.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, export during the first five months of the FY 2021-22 (July-November) is up by 24%.
Of the total export, 80% of earnings come from garments. The raw materials of the garment sector are cotton and yarn, 98% of which is import dependent.
China, India, Africa, Central Asia, USA and Brazil were the major sources of these raw materials. But shipping cost has been multiplied due to huge complications in transporting goods through vessels.
Various dialogues and negotiations are on at both the government and private sector level to enhance trade, and investment between Bangladesh and India by removing trade barriers.
Rising Group managing director Mahmud Hasan Khan told TBS that they have increased cotton and yarn import from India instead of West Africa and Brazil due to problems in the supply chain.
"We have increased cotton and yarn import from India by 25% during this current calendar year. The growth rate is 50% in value," he said.
He said they have raised import not only cotton and yarn from India, but also dyes chemicals.
Monsoor Ahmed, additional director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) told TBS that the major import items from India are industrial raw materials which contributed to the rise in imports.
Import from India is easier due to geographical location due to which goods can be transported by roads, he added.
A T M Azizul Akil David, senior vice president of Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI) who imports capital machinery from China said that he opened LC in last March against which the goods were supposed to reach by August. But the shipment to Chattogram port was delayed by nine months due to container and schedule crises. It takes only three months to receive the goods after LC opening during normal time, he added.
Sources said Omicron transmission is increasing in some provinces of China which may force the authorities to impose lockdown again. If this problem continues, the import from China may again be hindered.