DHAKA, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's exports rose 18.81
percent in January from a year earlier, gaining for a seventh
straight month thanks to improving overseas sales of clothing,
the Export Promotion Bureau said on Monday,
From March through June, Bangladesh's monthly exports fell
from the year-earlier period as the global slowdown weighed on
demand. But overseas sales have since picked up, with a 8.83
percent rise in the July-January period, the data showed.
Exports in the first seven months of Bangladesh's July-June
financial year totalled $15.15 billion compared with $13.92
billion over the same period of last year.
In January, exports of ready-made garments rose almost 23
percent to $2.09 billion from $1.70 billion in the same month of
2012. For the seven months ended in January, garment exports
totalled $12.04 billion, 9.9 percent more than a year earlier.
In recent years, Bangladesh's economy and exports have been
boosted by a dramatic shift in global garment orders from China
to lower-cost Bangladesh.
The government set an export target of $28 billion for the
current fiscal year, up from last year's total earnings of $24.3
Garments account for 80 percent of Bangladesh's exports. The
industry employs 3.6 million people and more than four times
that number are dependent on the sector for their livelihoods.
The garments trade has been in the spotlight since a factory
fire that killed at least 112 people in November. Working
conditions in the factories are notoriously poor, with little
enforcement of safety laws. Overcrowding and locked fire doors
are not uncommon.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul)