DHAKA, April 17 (BSS) - Bangladesh's export to the European Union (EU) earned ever-highest 8.5 billion euro or US$ 11 billion in 2011, which was three billion euro more, compared to the previous year.
The country earned 5.5 billion euro in 2010.
The country has made the record-breaking export earning due to the huge contribution of readymade garments and the relaxation of rules of origin for Bangladesh, said a EU press release here today.
EU Ambassador William Hanna disclosed the information while the leaders of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), led by its president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, paid a courtesy call on the EU Delegation here on Monday.
He said the huge increase in exports was possible owing to the relaxation of rules of origin for Bangladesh that entered into force from January 2011.
The BGMEA President thanked the EU for giving the duty and quota free access for Bangladesh, and recent relaxation of the rules of origin.
Mohiuddin also acknowledged that the EU is the biggest export destination for Bangladesh.
The BGMEA leaders, however, expressed concern over the recent economic difficulties in the EU that may have a negative impact on the future exports from Bangladesh.
BGMEA leaders also conveyed their apprehension on the EU- India Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is under negotiation, could lead to the erosion of Bangladesh's preferential edge in the EU.
Ambassador Hanna agreed that the EU is now passing through a difficult time, which poses a challenge to Bangladesh to adjust its business strategy.
He called for diversification, improvement in productivity through skills development, and maintenance of quality to remain competitive in the EU market.
The EU Ambassador informed the BGMEA representatives about different trade-related technical assistance grants to Bangladesh, which have already improved its trade capacity.
He assured them of the continuation of such programmes in future.