‘RMG exports to India on a roll’
Readymade garment exports to India have seen a marked growth ever since Delhi allowed duty- and quota-free access to 46 apparel products to its market, says the foreign minister. “Bangladeshi exporters received $90 million worth of readymade garment orders in October only,” said Dipu Moni at a press briefing on Thursday.
Bangladesh exported RMG products worth $359 million to the next-door neighbour last fiscal year. Bangladesh was awarded duty-free access for 10 million pieces of RMG products to the Indian market. However, over and above the 46 categories of RMG products allowed duty-free access during Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh’s recent Bangladesh visit, last week India granted duty-free access to all products except 25 tobacco and liquor items.
Former president of BGMEA [Bangladesh Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association] Salam Murshedy termed the sharp increase ‘obvious’.
“We can offer better products at competitive prices within shorter delivery time,” he told bdnews24.com. “Within 3 to 5 years, the export may reach $2billion mark,” he said.
Mentioning that buyers from the US and European countries know about production pattern and manufacturers in Bangladesh, Murshedy said local businessmen should exhibit their competitiveness in the Indian market.
“Both buyers and sellers must understand the business dynamics and it takes some time,” he said adding, “The US and European buyers are quite familiar with our work.”
BGMEA, BKMEA and BTMA, along with the government, should take initiative to arrange a single-country trade fair in Mumbai, Delhi and other cities so that Indian buyers know Bangladeshi products, he suggested.
“We don’t need to increase our production capacity to export to India,” he said. A leading RMG exporter himself, Murshedy said so far they are not facing non-tariff barriers. “We can have glitches like non-tariff barriers in international trade, but if both the governments are sincere in developing trade ties, it can be resolved amicably,” he pointed out.
Bangladesh has a huge trade gap with India. During the last fiscal year, India exported goods worth over $4.5 billion while Bangladesh exported only $512 million worth of products.