The central bank of Bangladesh has enhanced the credit facilities available to apparel exporters after increasing its export development fund (EDF).

"We've increased the amount of EDF to US$600m from $500m," a senior official at the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said.

The move is intended to help exporters - especially apparel exporters - faced with lower export growth due to the ongoing global economic meltdown.

Bangladesh's export earnings grew by 2.0% to $6.291bn in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period a year ago, according to the state-run Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Under the EDF scheme, the central bank provides short-term liquidity to exporters through commercial banks to help with financing imports of raw materials, accessories, spare parts and packing materials under export letters of credit (Lcs). There is a single borrowing limit of $10m.

The move "will help the country's exporters to meet their short-term liquidity requirements," Mahiuddin Faruqui, vice president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), told just-style.