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A man counting US dollars.—File Photo
A man counting US dollars.—File Photo

DHAKA: Bangladesh's exports rose 5.9 per cent to $24.3 billion in the year ended June, falling short of a government target as demand for garments from key Western markets waned, the country's trade promotion body said on Tuesday.

The total fell nearly 8.4 per cent short of a target of $26.5 billion originally set on hopes for solid garment shipments to Europe and the United States, which account for almost 70 per cent of sales.

Ready made garment sales for the fiscal year rose 6.56 per cent from a year ago to $19 billion.

“Our growth was still good considering the weakening global economy which cut demand sharply,” said Shubhashish Bose, head of the Export Promotion Bureau.

For the new year starting July 1, the government expects exports to reach $28 billion as it seeks to diversify into new markets such as Japan, China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa.

Bangladesh's economy and exports have been boosted recently by a dramatic shift in global garment orders from China to lower-cost Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's low labour costs have helped it join the global supply chain for low-end clothing, manufacturing garments for international brands such as Tesco, JC Penney, Wal-Mart, H&M, Kohl's, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour.