textile industry in Bangladesh, now the sixth largest exporter of apparel in
the world after a decade of spectacular economic growth, has positioned itself
to benefit from the current global economic crisis. Production of ready-made
garments (RMG) and knitwear is at an all-time high. Many challenges remain, but
the overall outlook for this nation's industry remains bright.
nations have gone through as much dramatic change over the past several decades
as the Indian Ocean nation of Bangladesh. A rich and fertile agricultural land,
Bangladesh (once a part of the state of Bengal in India) made its initial impact
in the modern textile industry as the world's largest producer of jute ("the
Golden Fiber of Bangladesh") with an 80% share of the market in 1947,
before production in other nations and use of synthetic fibers eroded this
hegemony. An impoverished and densely-populated nation, Bangladesh has made great strides in economic development since the late 1970s, and was included in
Goldman Sach's 2005 list of the "next 11" growing economic nations
behind Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
of Textile Industry in Bangladesh
textile industry is an important segment of Bangladesh's manufacturing industry,
playing a critical role in its economic development. Textile exports (including
apparel) accounted for 76% of the national export in FY 2007, an increase from
41% in FY 1989 and 66% in FY 1995.
the liberation of Bangladesh, the textile sector was primarily an import-substitution
industry. It began exporting ready-made garments (RMG) including woven, knitted,
and sweater garments in 1978, which grew spectacurlarly during the next two and
a half decades-from US$3.5 million in 1981 to US$10.7 billion in FY 2007. Apparel
exports grew, but initially, the RMG industry was not adequately supported by
the growth up and down the domestic supply chain (e.g., spinning, weaving,
knitting, fabric processing, and the accessories industries). Until FY 1994, Bangladesh's RMG industry was mostly dependent on imported fabrics-the Primary Textile
Sector (PTS) was not producing the necessary fabrics and yarn. Since then, production
has increased in all Bangladesh PTS sub-sectors.
Bangladesh was the sixth-largest exporter of apparel in the
world after China, the EU, Hong Kong, Turkey, and India in 2006. That year, Bangladesh's share in world apparel exports was 2.8%.
US was the largest single market with US$3.23 billion in exports, a 30% share
in 2007. Today, the US remains the largest market for Bangladesh's woven garments taking US$2.42 billion, a 47% share of Bangladesh's total woven exports.
The European Union remains the largest regional destination-Bangladesh exported US$5.36 billion in apparel; 50% of their total apparel exports. The EU
took a 61% share of Bangladeshi knitwear with US$3.36 billion exports.