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DHAKA Oct 10 Bangladesh's exports fell 5.6
percent in September from the same period a year earlier to
$2.24 billion, the Export Promotion Bureau said on Monday, 18
percent below target.
For July-September, the first quarter of the country's
2016-17 financial year, exports rose 4 percent to $8 billion
from a year earlier, the Export Promotion Bureau said.
Shipments of readymade garments, comprising knitwear and
woven items, totalled $6.66 billion in July-September, up 3.5
Garment exporters attributed the September drop to holidays
for the Muslim Eid festival.
"The fall is mostly due to the long Eid vacation," said
Siddiqur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Garment
Manufacturers and Exporters Association, discounting any impact
on shipments from a July attack on foreigners and other recent
The $28 billion a year garment export industry had been
recovering strongly from a tragedy three years ago, when a
factory building collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people and
prompting safety checks that led to factory closures and the
loss of exports and jobs.
But the July attack on a cafe in Dhaka's diplomatic quarter
in which 22 people were killed, mostly foreigners, signalled a
more chilling threat to business.
Western retailers who source cheap clothes from Bangladesh
avoided visiting the country after the July attack as they did
after the shooting killing of two foreigners in late last year.
"The buyers are coming now and placing orders as usual,"
Rahman told Reuters, adding that the government's prompt action
helped restore confidence among foreigners.
Dosens of militants, including the masterminds of the cafe
attack, have been killed or arrested and the government has
stepped up security for business travellers, investors and
Exports in the 2015/16 financial year that ended in June hit
a record $34.24 billion, up 9.7 percent from the previous year,
on the back of stronger garment sales.
The government has set an export target of $37 billion for
the current financial year, with garments earning $30 billion.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Kim Coghill)