The New Year has evoked mixed outlook for the garment industries in the Asian region. A few of the industry representatives in the region feel that the industry will prosper, while others maintain that not much has changed at the ground-level since last year.
Leading the optimistic group is Mr. Van Sou Ieng, chairman of Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), who told fibre2fashion, “We have something to cheer about since we expect a growth in garment exports this year.”
Echoing similar view, research officer of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Mr. Ibrahim Mahmood says, “We are expecting a substantial increase in textile and garment exports during 2013. We are already witnessing substantial increase in foreign inquiries, mainly from the EU and the US.”
“During October, EU passed the legislation for Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATPs) on 75 products, mainly textiles, on which import duties have been suspended till end of December 2013. From January 2014, we are also expected to qualify for GSP Plus through which import duties in EU will be suspended for almost all the products,” he informs.
According to him, as China becomes expensive and Bangladesh running at its optimum capacity, Pakistan becomes a favourable destination for international buyers to source their products, due to the low cost domestic supply of cotton and low labor costs in Pakistan.
“Pakistan has a good track record for pure cotton apparel production and other textile items,” he adds.
However, Bangladesh garment manufacturers do not forecast such a rosy outlook for 2013. Second vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Mr. Md. Siddiqur Rahman says, “We cannot expect much this year. Until we overcome the recession we cannot say that we will be in a good position.”
In a similar vein, Chairman of Indonesian Textile Association (API), Mr. Ade Sudrajat says, “This year, our exports will be stagnant and so we are not expecting good profit. However, the decline in exports would not be substantial.”
Giving a reason, he blames the Government for increasing the electricity charges by 20 percent.