The exports of readymade garments from Bangladesh increased by 20.73 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal year 2013-14 to US$ 9.653 billion, as against exports of US$ 7.995 billion made during the corresponding period of previous fiscal, the data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed.
Knitwear exports registered US$ 4.899 billion during July-November 2013 period, showing a year-on-year increase of 20.48 percent over exports worth US$ 4.066 billion made during the same period last year.
Woven garments exports fetched US$ 4.753 billion for Bangladesh during the five-month period, up 21 percent compared to exports valued at US$ 3.928 billion made during the corresponding months of 2012.
In fiscal year 2012-13 that ended on June 30, Bangladesh exported US$ 21.515 billion worth of knitted and woven garments, and the country has set an export target of US$ 24.147 billion for the current fiscal year, which would be an increase of 12.33 percent.
Bangladesh has implemented a 76.66 percent hike in minimum wage for entry-level workers in the clothing industry since December 1, 2013. The impact of this wage rise on the competitiveness of the country’s apparel industry, and thereby its exports, would be visible over the next few months.
With the presence of more than 5,000 garment factories that together employ nearly 4.2 million workers, Bangladesh is currently the second-largest garment exporter in the world, next only to China.