Country’s overall exports rose 15 per cent in first seven months of the current fiscal from the same period a year earlier capitalising growing shipments of ready-made garments, officials said. The value of exported goods totalled $17.43 billion during the July-January period of the current fiscal (2013-14) as against $15.15 billion during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, according to a statistics of Export Promotion Bureau’s (EPB) released on Sunday. Terming the growth encouraging, trade officials said that this only happened on the back of increasing demand of local garments from both traditional and non-traditional export markets. “Our exports have shown a double digit growth during the period under review despite year long street violence and deep uncertainty over the country’s political arena,” EPB vice-chairman Shubhashish Bose told The New Nation yesterday. He said political turmoil has not hampered growth of the country’s export sector because of rising demands for local merchandises in global market. Besides, the exporters worked hard to maintain their shipment schedules during hartals and blockades. The EPB vice-chairman said that they were hopeful of achieving this year’s export target capitalising bright export performances from the key export sectors, including ready-made garments (RMG). “Demand for local merchandises specially garments items in both traditional and non-traditional market is growing tremendously, making us optimistic about achieving this year’s export target,” he added. He also said that local exporters are enjoying some sort of comparative advantage than other competitors, helping them to attract more foreign buyers. “Rising demands from the side of buyers have boosted the country’s RMG export to the EU and US and other non-traditional markets,” he added. The EPB figures showed that export earnings from garments in July-January of the current fiscal alone stood at $14.17 billion compared with $12.03 billion during the corresponding period of last fiscal (2012-13). Of the total, knit and woven garments fetched $6.99 billion and $7.17 billion respectively. Besides, shipment growth of knitwear and woven garments was recorded at 18.13 per cent and 17.32 per cent respectively during the period under review. The rising garments sale in global market also helped the sector to surpass the export target set at $13.39 billion for the first seven months of the current fiscal, it added. Bangladesh’s income from other major export segments were: $418.74 million from frozen foods export, $466.17 million from jute and jute goods, $338.85 million from footwear, $442.42 million from home textile, $289.25 million from leather and $321.05 million from agricultural products during July-January period of the current fiscal. Earlier, the Ministry of Commerce had fixed an export target of $30.50 billion for the fiscal year 2013-14.