DHAKA, March 10 Bangladesh's exports rose 6.36
percent in February from a year earlier to $2.39 billion,
boosted by stronger garment sales, the Export Promotion Bureau
said on Monday, as political turmoil eased after an election in
In the first eight months of the financial year beginning
July 1, exports totalled $19.83 billion, up nearly 14 percent
from the same period a year ago, the export bureau said.
Garment exports rose 9 percent on year to $1.96 billion in
February and were up 16.7 percent to $16.7 billion for the eight
Garment exporters said orders are rebounding but the pace is
not impressive and urged global retailers to ensure fair price
"Orders are coming as the political situation has improved
but the pace is slow. We want a fair price from international
buyers as production costs have gone up with a 77 percent rise
in basis wages for workers and for extensive safety
improvements," said Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association.
Bangladesh's $22-billion garment industry had seen orders
cut nearly in half in the three months to December as political
unrest in the months leading up to a Jan. 5 election hit the
country, according to the BGMEA.
The unrest eased after the polls, which were boycotted by
the main opposition party and shunned by international observers
as flawed, but the respite could be short-lived as the
opposition plans to launch a fresh agitation to oust the
The garment industry, which supplies many Western brands
such as Wal-Mart, Tesco and H&M, has
already been under the spotlight after a string of fatal factory
accidents, including the collapse of a building housing
factories in April that killed more than 1,130 people.
From late last month, safety experts, hired by mostly
European retailers, have begun mass inspections in garment
Bangladesh raised wages for millions of garment workers
starting last December and amended its labour law last July to
boost worker rights, including the freedom to form trade unions,
following international pressure on the world's second largest
However, industry leaders said all factory owners had not
implemented the minimum wage of $68 per month - up from $38 -
while in February Human Rights Watch said garment factory
workers who try to form trade unions are being intimidated and
threatened with murder.