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15 November, 2018 02:55:22 AM

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Bangladesh eyes bigger share of world plastic market

Exports rise significantly in first 4 months of FY19
Sharif Ahmed, Dhaka
Bangladesh eyes bigger share of world plastic market

China has moved towards high-tech industries and this has created a massive opportunity for Bangladeshi plastic products exporters to increase the global market share.

Export of plastic products has risen significantly in the 2018–19 financial year (July-October), compared to 2017–18 (July-October).

Also, availability of raw materials at a cheaper rate, producing quality products, a robust government policy framework, enhanced manufacturing efficiency and export of products to new and untapped countries are helping Bangladesh to

 flourish in the market fast, say industry insiders.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), a growth rate of 33.14 percent, with net export earnings of USD 39.61 million, was achieved in 2018–19 (July-October) compared to USD 29.75 million in 2017–18 (July-October).

Shamim Ahmed, former president of the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association (BPGMEA), told The Independent that China is the prime plastic manufacturing country in the world. As it has started moving towards high-tech industries, there’s massive opportunity for Bangladeshi exporters to increase the global market share.

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

When asked, the former BPGMEA president said: “China used to import plastic wastes from us for further processing, but it has stopped doing so.

The country is closing down plastic waste processing plants because of environmental pollution.”

"Plastic wastes have seen a negative growth of 20.88 per cent. India is importing plastic wastes from us, but the quantity is very small," he added.

Giasuddin Ahmed, senior vice-president of the BPGMEA, told The Independent: “We import raw materials. The import price of raw materials has decreased and that’s another reason behind the positive export growth. We used to import raw materials at USD 1,500-1,600 per tonne. This has come down to USD 1,200-1,300 per tonne.”  

Ahmed is also the chairman of Thai Poly Shawn (BD) Ltd.         

“We export plastic bags to countries like Poland, the UK, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, China, India, Nepal, Australia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Hong Kong and New Zealand. We produce 400-450 tonnes of plastic products per day,” he said.    

Ahmed also said the government is offering a 10 per cent cash incentive on the export of plastic products. It will take all steps to ensure the progress of the country's plastic industry, he added.

According to the the BPGMEA, Bangladesh imports more than 1,55,000 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. 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.

About the export factories, BPGMEA president Jashim Uddin said: “To meet the 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.”

According to the BPGMEA, the plastic industry contributes around USD 900 million to the garments accessories market. Garments accessories and allied products, such as hangers, buttons, clips, collarbones and collar chips, are supplied by local plastic suppliers.

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.

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

EA

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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