Bogura Correspondent: Exports from Bogura, which have always been the highest among the northern districts, dropped by $1 million this year mainly due to the negative impact of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has resulted in a slowdown of the global economy.
Seventeen companies in the district exported 16 types of products, including rice bran oil, jute products, irrigation pumps, motor parts, air filters, vegetables, soybean products, RMGs and handicraft products, amounting to a total of $57.2 million, in 2022.
They said the country has been facing a dollar crisis amid the global situation which has resulted in the decline in exports.
According to Bogura Chamber of Commerce and Industries sources, although India is the biggest market for these products, some of them were exported to the USA, Sri Lanka, Germany, China and the UK.
Rice bran oil has been the leading export product for Bogura for the past few years. Major companies like Tamim Agro Industries, Western Agro, Majumder Products, and Bogura Multi Oil Mills are among the key players in this market.
In 2022, rice bran oil remained the top product for export here with an export value of around Tk300 crore which is slightly lower than the previous year.
Currently, nine of the 17 rice bran factories in the country are in Rajshahi division, mostly concentrated in Bogura.
In 2022, Western Agro Products exported rice bran oil worth over $13 million, which is $3.4 million less than the export value in 2021.
Abdul Aziz Miah, managing director of Western Agro Products, said there has been a decline in the export of rice bran oil due to various reasons.
“The price of the product has decreased in the Indian market, impacting exports from Bangladesh. Additionally, Sri Lanka, which was a potential market for rice bran oil, is currently facing economic difficulties, discouraging exporters from doing business there,” he said.
Jute products, including sacks, yarns, and ropes, are the second most exported goods from Bogura. Hasan Jute Mill topped the list of total exports from Bogura in 2022 by exporting jute products worth $16.4 million to India.
ATM Shafiqul Hasan, managing director of Hasan Jute Mill, told The Business Standard, “Our sales in the domestic market are low due to limited usage of jute products. Despite the existence of legal guidelines aimed at increasing the utilisation of jute products, their implementation remains low. Nevertheless, there is a promising market for these products in foreign countries.”
Irrigation pumps rank third on the list of exports from Bogura. Exporters from Bogura said that the journey of Bogura products to foreign markets began two decades ago with the export of irrigation pumps. However, over time, the demand for these pumps has declined.
Thousands of small and large foundries have since been established throughout Bogura to manufacture irrigation pumps, providing employment for around two lakh people. These pumps are exported to India and Nepal.
In 2022, centrifugal pumps and their components worth $2.36 lakh were exported from Bogura to India, with Roni Engineering Workshop and Milton Engineering accounting for roughly 90% of the total exports.
In addition, motor filters produced by Bogura Motors Limited were exported to Germany in 2022.
Tahmidul Islam Chandan, director of Bogura Motors Limited, said, “Last year, filters produced in Bangladesh were exported to the UK. We plan to expand our export market to include the United States in the future.”
During the same year, Raihan Traders exported potatoes worth $2.18 lakh to Sri Lanka. While the company exported soybean products in 2021, it did not get any export orders for this product in 2022.
Mahfuzul Islam Raj, vice president of the Bogura Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), said that the scope for exports will expand in the future as it plays a major role as the main driving force of the economy in the northern districts of the country. “Bogura is the heart of the north. Many products manufactured here are being exported now after meeting the demand of the local markets,” he said.
However, he said that the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has posed a threat to businessmen. Moreover, the country has been facing a dollar crisis, which has resulted in a slight decline in exports.
This business leader emphasised that the construction of Bogura airport will have a significant impact on local and foreign investments in the district. He said that this will stimulate economic growth in the region and create employment opportunities for thousands of people.
According to the Bogura Chamber of Commerce and Industries, entrepreneurs in Bogura exported goods worth $52.6 million in 2020, whereas in 2019, the export of goods from the region earned $72.3 million.
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