The exports of readymade garments from Bangladesh rose by a sharp 19.95 percent year-on-year during the first half of financial year 2013-14, defying various odds like image crisis and political instability prevailing during the period, the data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed.
From July to December 2013, Bangladesh’s garment exports totaled US$ 11.932 billion as against exports of $9.946 billion made during the corresponding period of the previous year.
The exports of woven garments from Bangladesh jumped by 20.37 percent to $5.983 billion during the six-month period, compared to exports of $4.971 billion made during the same period in FY ’13.
Knitwear exports from the country leaped to $5.948 billion during the period under review, registering a growth of 19.55 percent over exports worth $4.975 billion made in July-December 2012 period.
The 19.95 percent year-on-year growth in exports of apparel was higher than the 16.56 percent year-on-year rise observed in overall exports from Bangladesh during July-December 2013 period.
In fiscal year 2012-13 that ended on June 30, Bangladesh exported US$ 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 implemented a 76.66 percent hike in minimum wage for entry-level workers in the clothing industry since December 1, 2013. The extent of impact of this wage rise on the competitiveness of the country’s apparel industry, and thereby its exports, would be visible in the export figures of the country in the second half of the ongoing financial year.
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.