POST TIME: 16 October, 2019 03:28:29 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 October, 2019 11:38:45 AM
Boom in exports of plastic products

Boom in exports of plastic products

Exports of plastic products have risen significantly during the July–September period of FY 2019–20 compared to the same period of 2018–19 FY.

The availability of raw materials at a cheaper rate, the production of quality products, a robust government policy framework, enhanced manufacturing efficiency and exports of products to new countries are all helping Bangladesh flourish rapidly in the market, say industry insiders.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), a growth rate of 18.01 per cent, with net export earnings of USD 31.51 million, was achieved in the July-September period of FY 2019–20 compared to USD 26.70 million during the same time in FY 2018–19 .

Shamim Ahmed, former president of the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association (BPGMEA), said the US-China trade war boosted the exports.

"The US used to import plastic from China, but it's not doing so at present. This has opened up an opportunity for us, which is being reflected in our export growth,” he explained.

He also said the stable price of plastic raw materials also helped the export growth.

He further said India started taking recycled PET flakes from Bangladesh. Earlier, China was the buyer of these flakes.

PET is used as a raw material for making bottles and containers for packaging a wide range of food products and other consumer goods.    

Eventually, the production of four types of products such as—plastic hangers, plastic toys, PP woven polypropylene bags, and faux fibre bags—are increasing each year, he noted.

Shamim Ahmed also said that China was the world’s main plastic manufacturing country. "As it has begun moving towards high-tech industries, massive opportunities have opened up for Bangladeshi exporters to increase their global market share," he observed.

At present, Bangladesh mostly exports plastic products to the US, Canada and European countries

Shamim Ahmed, also the managing director of Sunflower Melamine Industries, said: “Our factory supplies plastic to the domestic market. It's growing at a rate of 20 per cent per year.”

The local plastic market is approximately worth Tk. 25,000 crore, he added.

Shamim Ahmed suggested that proper policy support and further financial incentives could lead to a three-fold increase in this sector’s export earnings in the next couple of years.

BPGMEA president Jashim Uddin told The Independent that the US and different European countries had increased their plastic imports from Bangladesh.

Moreover, Bangladesh has started exporting plastic products to Germany, he added,

When asked about export factories, Jashim Uddin said export-oriented factories were increasing their capacity to address the overseas demand. “We have been exporting reasonable quantities of film plastic, garments accessories made of plastic and household plastic items to many countries around the world,” he added.

“This sector will grow more if we get a special industrial zone. We will also be able to grab approximately 3 per cent of the global market in future,” he noted.

The global market size of plastic goods is about USD 570 billion.

“There are around 5,000 small, medium and large plastic goods manufacturing units. The number was around 3,000 units a couple of years back,” said Shamim Ahmed.

Some 1.2 million people are engaged in this sector, he added.