Apparel export to Japan on the rebound after dipping in March
Kazi Azizul Islam
The country’s garment export to Japan, after taking a short but sheer plunge of around 25 per cent in March year-on-year, when the Asia’s second largest economy had been reeling under the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis, rebounded in April and since been on the rise, trade watchers said on Wednesday.
‘Traffic congestion in Japanese seaports and airfields in March following the earthquake and tsunami resulted in either suspension or deferred delivery of many garment shipments from Bangladesh,’ Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Takashi Suzuki told New Age.
However, the export volume of made-in-Bangladesh apparels to Japan started to bounce back in April and the trend is on, Suzuki said. ‘The temporary decline in delivery has been on the mend and I see Bangladesh’s garment export to Japan to reach its previous volume very soon as Japanese importers are really keen to procure more and more apparel products from this country,’ Suzuki added.
The deadliest earthquake in Japanese history on March 11 followed by an equally fatal tsunami wreaked havoc on eastern Japan, nearly paralysing the air- and sea-ports in the region.
Japanese official data shows that the volume of apparel export from Bangladesh to the land of rising sun in March stood at 1,46,580 dozens of clothes, posting nearly a one-fourth fall from 1,92,799 dozens of clothes in March 2010.
A sharp increase in the export of Bangladeshi garments to Japan made many Bangladesh exporters upbeat in the past couple of years before March.
The government and industry leaders also maintain that a significant export rise of garments to Japan would help Bangladesh attain much in diversifying its market.
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association former president Fazlul Haque told New Age on Wednesday that the rules of origin recently simplified by the Japan government would boost the export of Bangladeshi knitwear to that country.
Bangladesh’s annual export of garments to Japan crossed $200 million mark in 2010, posting a more than 50 per cent growth over the year.
Industry people said Bangladesh’s share in Japan market was still tiny but attaining a $1 billion share in the $30 billion apparel import by Japan per year was very much possible.