Garment exports to go big
Refayet Ullah Mirdha
Garment exports will rise further in coming months, as manufacturers have already bagged bigger orders than before.
Most garment units are booked for several months, mainly due to a shift of international buyers to Bangladesh from China, the largest apparel supplying country globally.
“The garment exports will increase thanks to the EU’s relaxed rules of origin under the generalised system of preferences,” said Jalal Ahmed, vice-chairman of state-owned Export Promotion Bureau.
“The trend indicates that our garment export will grow even higher. Besides, we have developed quality high-end products for some new export destinations such as Japan,” Ahmed said.
Recently, the exports of garment items, the highest export earning sector in Bangladesh, increased in some new destinations such as Japan, South Africa, Canada, China, India, Australia, New Zealand and to some Latin American countries.
The government data shows Bangladesh exported knitwear worth $5.07 billion during the July-January period of the current fiscal year, registering 43.22 percent growth compared with the same period a year ago. In the seven-month period, the country exported woven garments worth $4.38 billion, a 39.09 percent rise.
In the same period, the total exports were $12.19 billion against the $10.27 billion target. The annual export target has been set at $18.5 billion for fiscal 2010-11.
Abdullah Al-Mahmud, managing director of Mahin Group, a leading garment maker, said the higher growth of garment exports will continue in the next few months also, because the buyers are flocking to Bangladesh for higher costs of production in China.
The higher prices of raw materials, such as cotton and yarn, are also increasing the export earnings, as the buyers are paying high to help the makers cope with the costly imports, he said.
Bangladesh needs to import most of the raw materials for its garment industry.
“My factory is booked for the next few months. Demand for the local fabrics has gone up as the rules of origin came to effect from January 1, for the EU market.”
“There is no possibility of a fall in order in the next few years,” said Momin Mondol, managing director of Mondol Group.
Mondol, who supplies to some brands of Turkey, one of the leading players in apparel business worldwide, said the Turkish buyers are also coming to Bangladesh due to higher production costs there.
Shahadat Hossain Kiron, managing director of Dekko Group, said many manufacturers are expanding their capacity because the international buyers are now coming with bigger orders.