Reducing Vulnerability: The Export Diversification Challenge in Bangladesh

Zaidi Sattar, Chairman of the Policy Research Institute, presented on May 26 the IGC paper ‘Reducing Vulnerability: The Export Diversification Challenge in Bangladesh’.

Global trade has been instrumental in leveraging the demand and resources of the world economy to sustain the longest period of economic expansion the world has ever seen. Bangladesh, which began its journey as a densely populated but resource-poor small economy, is a good example of how trade opens markets, stimulates growth, creates jobs, and supports poverty reduction. Over the past two decades, Bangladesh experienced double digit export growth. However, this superior performance is clouded by the fact that the surge was limited to one product group – readymade garments. Export concentration in readymade garments makes the economy, employment and income extremely vulnerable to external shocks arising from changes in global demand or prices.

The study throws light on the typology of export diversification, identifies some of the shortcomings of existing tariff and trade policy regime hindering export diversification, and offers a roadmap for more effective export diversification strategies. Please find the Working Paper below, as well as Dr Zaidi Sattar’s presentation from the report launch.