Even though the second wave of the novel coronavirus has already hit the world, exporters in the country are yet to feel the pinch.
The country's export earnings that tumbled to a negative growth in October this year returned to positive growth in November mainly backed by a rebound in the readymade garment (RMG) sector.
In November, the overall year-on-year export growth was 0.76%, which was negative 4% in October, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
The country received $3.07 billion in export earnings last month, slightly higher than $3.05 billion earned in the same month last year.
Even though the growth was minimal, exporters are happy with the earnings as they came at a time when the world is grappling with the second of Covid-19 infections.
"Export growth was higher than that expected amid this critical situation," said Md Fazlul Hoque, managing director of Plummy Fashions Ltd – the world's greenest knitwear factory.
The second wave is assumed to hit export earnings in January next year, he observed.
RMG exports fell by 2.66% year-on-year in a single month in November. In the previous month, the year-on-year growth in apparel exports was reported at negative 7.8%, according to EPB data.
In November, RMG exporters earned $2.44 billion, slightly up from $2.3 billion earned in the previous month.
Well shipment in November helped to improve RMG export growth, Hoque argued.
In contrast to a slight growth in Bangladesh's exports, neighbouring countries India and Pakistan saw a significant growth in their export earnings in November.
Pakistan saw a 7.2% rise in its export earnings in November, which was the highest in the past 30 months.
Meanwhile, India saw a 22.58% year-on-year growth in the first week of November, showing improvement in economic activities. India's growth was mostly driven by the pharmaceuticals sector.
The rosy statistics started to come after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – a club of mostly rich nations – on Tuesday predicted that the world economy will return to the pre-pandemic level by next year.
However, Hoque could not explain any solid reason behind the high growth in export earnings of the neighbouring countries. The rising confidence over the economic rebound might be a reason, he assumed.
Global credit rating agency Fitch has recently expressed uncertainty over Bangladesh's exports.
Expressing concerns over exports in its rating report for Bangladesh, Fitch said the outlook for exports remains uncertain, due partly to the pandemic, but there is also little evidence to suggest that Bangladesh might be benefitting significantly from trade diversion owing to the US-China trade disputes.
Bangladesh's RMG sector, which accounts for 80% of the country's total export earnings, raked in $27.9 billion in the last fiscal year, down from $34.1 billion a year ago, as demand from key markets like the European Union (62%) and the United States (18%) has fallen.
The latest data from the EPB show Bangladesh's export growth in the July-November period of the current fiscal year declined by 1.48% when compared to the same period of last year.
The export performance fell 8.20% short of the export target set by the government for the period.
The government spent Tk10,000 crore for export-oriented industries during the pandemic to support their workers' salaries.