Linguistic skill is must
Abu Sazzad: The income from services stood at US$991.70 million in the first two months (July to August) of the current fiscal, while such amount was $1,097.40 million in the last fiscal.
The income slightly declined due to the negative impact of virus pandemic.
The service sector provides a service, not an actual product that could be held in one’s hand. Activities in the service sector include retail, banks, hotels, real estate, education, health, social work, computer services, recreation, media, communications, electricity, gas and water supply.
Bangladesh’s export earnings from the service sector stood at US$6.13 billion registering a 5.56 per cent negative growth in the just-concluded fiscal year 2019-20. The country earned US$6.49 billion from the service sector in the fiscal year 2018-19, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. The export income from services was $6.49 billion in FY 2018-19, followed by $4.34 billion in FY 2017-18 and $3.40 billion in FY 2016-17.
The government has fixed a $48 billion export target for the current fiscal year 2020-2021. Of this, $41 billion has been fixed for goods export sector and $7 billion for the services export sector, said the Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi. The growth in goods exports has been targeted 21.75 percent and 9.46 percent in services sector, said Tipu. “The government has already taken initiative to increase the income from services and I am optimistic to achieve the income from services” he added.
In order to enhance the service sector activities, there is a need for boosting the ICT capacity and expand services in the areas of health, tourism, accounting, engineering, and to increase coordination across government ministries. Overseas experts or exchange programs can help local institutions to overcome the shortage of local experts in the medical and other potential fields.
The government officials, corporate leaders, and civil society representatives should forge a unique partnership and exchange ideas and insights for steady growth of the service sector.
According to World Trade Organisation (WTO), Bangladesh needs to build capacity to derive benefits from the relaxed WTO rules for trade in services.
Experts have underscored the need for improving the linguistic skill for increasing income from service sector. Due to lack of adequate knowledge in English, the service oriented institutions are not getting huge response from the foreigners, counting one of the major challenges for getting more income from services in the country, they mentioned.
Apart from this, enhancing productivity, diversify products and improve quality of services are equally important to increase the income from the service sector.