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21 June, 2019 12:24:52 PM

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RMG sector maintains positive trend

Sharif Ahmed, Dhaka
RMG sector maintains positive trend
This file photo shows an employee busy working at a RMG unit in Dhaka. Independent photo

On the back of value-added products, government policy support, capacity enhancement and completion of 95 per cent factory remediation work set by the Accord and Alliance, the Bangladeshi RMG sector is maintaining a positive trend in export earnings, say industry experts.

Bangladesh’s apparel exports to global markets have seen a 12.82 per cent rise to USD 31.73 billion in the first eleven months of the current fiscal year. According to Export Promotion Bureau’s (EPB) provisional data, the RMG sector earned USD 31.73 billion during the July-May period of FY19, up by 12.82 per cent from the USD 28.12 billion earned during the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Of the total export earnings by the apparel sector, knitwear products earned USD 15.68 billion, which is 12.50 per cent higher than the USDS 13.94 billion earned during the same period of FY2017-18.

Woven products earned USD 16.05 billion, up by 13.13 per cent from the USD 14.18 billion earned during the same period of the previous fiscal year.

The specialised textile sector saw a 33.79 per cent growth to USD 137.74 million from USD 102.95 during this time, while home textile products saw a negative growth of 2.69 per cent to USD 800.85 million from USD 823 million.

Talking to The Independent, Siddiqur Rahman, former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association (BGMEA), said the three months from December to March formed the peak season for apparel shipment and thus the future prospect is even higher and brighter.

“Our capacity has also increased. We can produce any quantity of garments items as we have expanded our operations over the years” he added.  

"But", he said, “the work order flow is not so good and we are not getting the right price from the buyers.”

The government had announced a cash incentive for selling in non-traditional market back in 2010, which was 5 per cent at that time. It is now 4 per cent.

But the incentive eventually helped achieve a two-digit export growth rate, he said.

Explaining the reason, Rahman said apparel-makers previously did not want to go to those markets because of the difficulties involved and the time spent to enter a

new market. But because of getting duty-free access

and cash incentives,

garments owners have started exploring new destinations and markets.    

“China, the world’s largest apparel supplier, has started importing products from us because the Government of China has allowed duty-free access to over 5,000 Bangladeshi products, which eventually enhanced the export growth of the apparel sector,” he explained.

About 40 to 50 crore people in China belongs to the high-middle income group, said Siddiqur.  

The inspection by Accord and Alliance had helped remediate the factories and prompted factory owners to emphasise workplace safety, which eventually lift the country’s image in front of foreign buyers, said Siddiqur.

Eighty green garments factories currently in operation are completely LEED -certified and another 300 are in the process of getting the certification.

Of the top 10 green garments factories in the world, first seven are located in Bangladesh, said former BGMEA president.      

However, the Chattogram port needs to facilitate more in order to perform better, said the former BGMEA president.    

“We've invested around USD 4 billion for ensuring workplace safety and occupational health,” he added.

Citing an example, Dr Rubana Huq, current president of the BGMEA said: “Our production cost has increased by 29.4 per cent, lead time has increased, lack of innovation, deficit of technological up gradation—these are the challenges which need to be addressed immediately.”

Moreover, 30 factories had shut down last year, she added.

Responding to a question, she said: “We export basic polo t-shirts worth USD 6 billion dollars. We are emphasising product diversification to compete in the global market in future.”

HM

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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