RMG exports to India buoyant on duty waiver

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=215836

Ready Made Garments
RMG exports to India buoyant on duty waiver
Refayet Ullah Mirdha

Garment exports to India will surge, thanks to the duty-waiver given by the Indian government to Bangladesh, exporters said. All depends on a proper use of duty-waiver for all garment products from Bangladesh, they said.

In July-October, Bangladesh exported woven garments worth $16.41 million, which was $8.31 million in the same period last year.

Knitwear exports stood at $6.69 million in July-October, which was $2.52 million in the same period a year ago, data from the Export Promotion Bureau showed.

India’s growing middle-class consumers are the main customers of the basic garment items from Bangladesh, industry insiders said.

In 2010-11, Bangladesh exported goods worth $512 million to India, 68 percent up from $304 million in 2009-10, EPB data showed. Of the total amount, woven and knit garment items accounted for $80 million.

Knitwear exports to India stood at $2.54 million and woven garments at $9.99 million in 2009-10, while it was $1.7 million and $10.25 million in 2008-09, EPB data showed.

M Nasir Uddin, chairman of Pacific Jeans that has been doing business with India for a long time, said garment exports to India are increasing from Bangladesh, especially after duty-waiver.

If a smooth supply chain management system is introduced, the export of garments from Bangladesh will increase manifold to India, he said.

“If India allows retail chains like Wal-Mart and Tesco into its market, the export of garment items from the country will see amazing growth,” he added.

The Indian government recently backtracked on its decision to allow the entry of multi-brands in Indian retail marketing. Both the governments should work to smooth trade by removing some barriers, the chairman of Pacific Jeans said.

Bangladesh should explore the vast Asian markets also, besides the traditional EU and the US markets, he said, adding that China is losing its competitiveness in the apparel business for higher costs of production and a shortage of workers.

As a result, four countries, including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia, will be benefited, he added.

Javed Chaudhury, managing director of Generation Next Fashion Ltd that has business with India, said garment exports from his company are not picking up at expected level.

“It might be a weakness of marketing of the company in India, as the company is busy with other markets,” he said. But, definitely, there is immense potential for exports to the India market, he added.

He said Bangladeshi garment exporters can be benefited by the devalued rupees against the greenback by exporting garments, he added.

India will be a big market for Bangladeshi garment products, as the export is increasing mainly for two reasons — the duty waiver facility and massive reforms in the Indian retail marketing system — said Faruque Hassan, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

A high-powered business delegation paid a visit to India on November 24-25 to explore the Indian market, Hassan said, adding that local industrial conglomerates like Reliance and other groups are opening a significant number of retail outlets across India.

As a result, the potential for garment exports to India is high. He said at the end of the current fiscal year, garment exports to India will cross $100 million and within five years, it will cross the one billion dollar mark. The Bangladeshi team also visited other major retail outlets in India, he said.

During his visit in September, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a duty-waiver for 46 garment items from Bangladesh and later opened up the market fully to the LDCs.

Demand for shirts is high in India although India itself is one of the strong players in global ready-made garments.

reefat@thedailystar.net

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