POST TIME: 5 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Plastic goods exports see spurt on back of policy support

Plastic goods exports see spurt on back of policy support

Exports of plastic products have risen significantly in the current 2018–19 financial year compared to the previous fiscal year 2017–18, on the back of a robust government policy framework, availability of quality products, enhanced manufacturing efficiency and exports of products to new and untapped countries.

With a growth of 13.07 per cent and net export earnings of USD 9.43 million in the current fiscal year 2018–19, compared to just USD 8.34 million in the 2017–18 fiscal year, the plastic industry has started playing a significant role in the national economy, said the former president of the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA), Shamim Ahmed.  

He pointed out that the government is offering a 10 per cent cash incentive on the exports of plastic products, adding that it will take all necessary steps to ensure the progress of the country's plastic industry. He also explained that proper policy support and further financial incentives could lead to a threefold increase in this sector’s export earnings in the next couple of years.

According to the BPGMEA, Bangladesh imports more than 155,000 metric tonnes of raw plastic materials each year, with the figure continuously growing.

“There are 5,000 small, medium and large plastic goods manufacturing units, while the number was around 3,000 units a couple of years back,” said Ahmed. Some 1.2 million people are engaged in this sector, he said.

About the export factories, BPGMEA president Jashim Uddin said, “To meet overseas demand, most of the export factories are increasing their capacity. We have been exporting reasonable quantities of film plastic, garment accessories made of plastic and household plastic items to many countries around the world.”

Bangladesh mostly exports plastics to the US, Canada and European countries, said Ahmed.

The plastic industry contributes around USD 800 million to the garment accessories market, he added. “Garments accessories and allied products like hangers, buttons, clips, collarbones and collar chips are all supplied by our local plastic suppliers,” he added.

The local plastic market is growing as well, worth an approximate Tk. 25,000 crore, he said.

Describing some challenges, he disclosed: “Since China has stopped importing waste plastics from us, plastic waste has seen a negative growth of 66.36 per cent.” China is closing down its plastic waste processing plants because of environmental pollution, he explained.

Bangladesh exported 99 per cent of its PET waste flakes to China before the imposition of the ban, according to the BPGMEA.

Bangladesh has started producing granular plastic raw materials which resemble or consist of small grains or particles, he said.

Three to four projects will start soon to produce polyester staple fibre (PSF), a raw material processed from plastic waste. China will import this PSF from Bangladesh in the near


According to the BPGMEA, apart from North America, Bangladesh exports its plastic goods mainly to Poland, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, China, India, Nepal, Australia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.