To prop up mutual trade and investment in the textile and clothing sectors of their respective countries, apex apparel bodies of China and Bangladesh have inked two separate MoUs, The Financial Express reported.
Deputy Director of China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) Lin Yunfeng, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) first Vice-President Md. Hatem signed the pacts on behalf of their respective organizations.
According to BGMEA and BKMEA, the deals would prove helpful in enhancing mutual cooperation in trade and investment, education, science and technology transfer, data and delegation exchange and participation in trade expos.
The MoUs were signed during the visit of a 40-member high-powered delegation led by Mr. Yunfeng to Bangladesh to explore opportunities for apparel sourcing and investment.
Mr. Yunfeng said when they visited some of the apparel factories in Bangladesh they were amazed by the quality of products, machinery set up and management of those units.
He said Bangladesh has a flourishing garment industry with a great future, and they are keen to invest in the country’s garment industry, as soaring labour cost and dearth of workers continue to hinder their scope in China.
During the MoU signing ceremony, BGMEA President invited the Chinese delegation to invest in production of high value items like blazers, suits and backward linkage spinning and weaving industries in the country.
He said Bangladesh views China as a key destination. It is because China is a big market for Bangladesh, particularly when its clothing requirement, per capita income and standard of living of the people are continuously rising.
China has a huge domestic market and its exports to other nations are also rising, while several brand retailers are setting up their branches there. Thus, Bangladesh has an unexploited opportunity to satisfy the clothing demand of China, he said.
China is heading towards becoming a more high-tech and high-end industry, and hence shifting of production to Bangladesh can benefit both the countries, as Bangladesh has good scope in this field, Mr. Mohiuddin said.
He called on the Chinese producers to invest in the fields where Bangladesh has immense potential, but lacks enough capacity and strength. Citing an example, he said there is huge demand for suits and blazers, but Bangladesh lacks sufficient capacity in this area.
BGMEA Vice President Faruque Hassan too invited investment in the backward linkage spinning and weaving industries, stating that while domestic sources hardly cater to 30-35 percent of woven fabric demand, they cater to around 90 percent of the demand for knit fabrics. This spurs a need for foreign investments in these sectors.
He said China can also take advantage of duty-free access that Bangladesh enjoys for its exports to the EU, Japan, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and even China.