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B'desh RMG exports to grow 15% in FY12 - Experts
Jan '12
Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) exports are likely to grow by around 15 percent in 2011-12 over last fiscal, according to experts.

As per the statistics released for the first five months of the current fiscal by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh's overall exports have grown by 18 percent year-on-year compared to a growth rate of 40 percent y-o-y observed last fiscal.

In July this year, exports from Bangladesh rose by 28.7 percent y-o-y, followed by a rise by 32.4 percent y-o-y in August. However, the growth rate declined to 2.29 percent y-o-y in September, 15.44 percent in October and 2.4 percent in November.

Speaking to fibre2fashion, Mr. Shubhashish Bose, Vice Chairman of EPB, said, “Bangladesh's export target for 2011-12 is US$ 26.5 billion, which is much more than last year. We have figures from July to November 2011 and our exports have been worth US$ 9 billion during the five-month period and we hope we will be able to achieve our targets by the end of the year.”

“Out of the total exports, the RMG sector constitutes about 78-80 percent,” he informs.

Analysing the figures, Prof. Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), says, “Last year, the growth rate was 40 percent because the global demand was rising and 40 percent is an exceptionally high rate. But, one cannot expect the exports to grow at such a high rate every year. So, 18 percent growth rate on top of the 40 percent growth rate of last year is a remarkable growth.”

“For the garment sector, the prices of raw materials, i.e. cotton and yarn, have come down by 50-60 percent compared to last year. So, the price level and the cut and making charges being offered are somewhat lower this year. In light of these factors, the growth rate can be termed as significant,” he adds.

He further explains, “The profit margins have come down this year. And, because there has been a depressed demand in the markets of US and Europe, some shift is taking place from China to Bangladesh on offer of lower prices, which is benefiting the garment industry. Moreover, India has offered zero tariff access to all Bangladeshi items, which is also favouring our country's exports.”

Commenting about the likely growth in country's garment exports this fiscal, he says, “It is uncertain how the Eurozone crisis develops and whether it will degenerate in recession. As of now, I foresee a double digit growth rate with the overall growth at around 14-15 percent this fiscal.”

Expressing similar views, Mr. Bose says, “In garments, Bangladesh mainly exports basic apparels that are not high value products but are needed by people all the time. So, even if there is recession in Europe or the US, people have to buy these apparels because it is a basic necessity for all. So, our apparel sector will not be very much affected and we can look forward to a double digit growth to achieve the export target.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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