The country fetched $497 million from export of various types of services during the first two months of current fiscal year.
Service is a new sector incorporated in the official overseas sale data for the first time,.
The sub-sectors included maintenance and repair services, transportation, travel, construction services, insurance services, financial services, charges for use of intellectual property, telecommunications, computer and information services, computer services, other business services, entertainment, cultural and recreational services and government services, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed.
Earnings, however, witnessed an 8.06 per cent negative growth during the July-August period of 2016-17 fiscal compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal, according to the central bank data.
The country earned $540.86 million during the same period of fiscal 2015-16, it showed.
The move to include export earnings from the service sector in the monthly data of the government agency was taken to show the real picture of the sector and explore the potential of the sector, Mafruha Sultana, vice chairman of EPB, told the FE.
Export earnings only from computer services under the sector were added to the EPB monthly data while there are more sub-sectors that remained out of the EPB export statistics, she added.
There are both formal and informal channels of export earnings from the service sector, EPB officials said.
As the data of export earnings from all the sub-sectors of the service sector were not included in EPB's export data, the real picture of the sector is not reflected in the statistics, they said.
Policy formulation for the service sector at the national level also faces difficulty because of absence of data, they said adding since the country's service imports were higher than the service exports, the sector needs close attention.
With the inclusion of earnings from all sub-sectors, the amount of total export earnings of the country would increase by more than $3 billion, they added.
The country's export earnings excluding the newly added service sector were $34.10 billion in FY of 2015-2016.
According to the Bangladesh Bank data, export earnings from the service sector in the last fiscal were $3.21 billion against imports of $6.32 billion.