Bangladeshi cheap clothes may bring respite to Indian consumers
Bangladesh apparel products are expected to flood shortly the retail shelves in India as big retailers have started placing orders with Bangladesh garment manufacturers under duty and quota-free arrangement, reports BSS.
Bangladesh clothes, cheaper by at least 20 per cent than India, will bring respite to Indian consumers, especially for the middle class, reeling under steep hike of garment prices, according to India’s Clothing Manufacturing Association (CMA) and Federation of Hosiery Manufacturers Association of India (FHMA).
Creative Group, a leading Indian apparel firm, having outlets in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata has already placed orders with Bangladesh textile manufacturers, said managing director Rahul Mehta while talking to journalists in Mumbai. Creative Group is also a leading Denim exporter to Bangladesh.
Like Creative Group, other established brands and retailers might eventually shift majority of their manufacturing to Bangladesh and route finished apparel products back to India under duty and quota-free arrangement, he added
“With the withdrawal of duty and quota restrictions on Bangladesh apparel imports, Indian retailers have a lot to cheer. Consumers too should be happy with internationally-reputed clothes coming from Bangladesh,” said Rajiv Dayal, managing director of Mafatlal Denim while giving his reaction to journalists on removal of India’s restriction on Bangladesh.
CMA and FHMA think that duty and quota-free access of 46 garment products would not affect India’s large textile manufacturers which are into retailing.
But some small retailers in West Bengal, Ludhiana and Gandhinagar that do no capacity to set up shop in Bangladesh are likely to be affected to some extent, say CMA and FHMA that have separate assessments on the probable impact of duty and quota- free entry of Bangladesh garments into Indian market.
According to CMA and FHMA, the duty and quota free market access of Bangladesh textiles will have a long-term positive impact on India as such a step would block backdoor entry of cheap fabrics into India from China, the strong competitor in international trade.
“Joint ventures between India and Bangladesh textile companies will also hold back Chinese firms or exporters from building any joint-collaboration in Bangladesh that will also help stop Chinese entry into India via Bangladesh,” says a CMA official.
To effectively deal with the fast growing Indian clothes market, Bangladesh apparel manufacturers have suggested organizing single country apparel fair in all big cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Madras, and Bangalore to give Indian retailers a clear idea about Bangladesh garment products and the quality.
“We’re already in Indian market —- but we need to take preparation because duty and quota free market access has given us a more wide scope to consolidate our position in the India’s $ 30 billion clothes market,” said former BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedi.
He urged the government to take steps to equip BSTI and land ports with modern instruments on an urgent basis to facilitate apparel export to India.
“We’re waiting for terms and conditions regarding export of garments to India. Ministries concerned of Bangladesh and India will frame it through mutual discussion as it is required for both importers and exporters,” said Fazlul Haq, former president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).
“I am going to Delhi on October 6 to meet potential buyers,” said Fazlul Haq, owner of Plummy Fashions Ltd that manufactures and exports knit products to European market.
In garment export, Bangladesh has outstripped India as it exports about 50 percent more than India because of cheap labour — almost one-third of the Indian labour costs—cheap power and 30- 40 percent lower production costs have made Bangladesh a cost-effective textile hub for Europe and the United States.