The exports of readymade garments from Bangladesh increased by 15.15 percent to US$ 18.052 billion during the first three quarters of the ongoing fiscal year 2013-14, as against exports of $15.676 billion made during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, as per the latest data released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
Segment-wise, woven apparel exports grew by 13.99 percent year-on-year to $9.221 billion during July-March 2013-14 period, whereas knitwear exports soared by 16.4 percent to $8.831 billion.
Knitwear and woven garments together accounted for 81.15 percent of total $22.242 billion exports made by the South Asian nation during the nine-month period beginning July 1, 2014.
The 15.15 percent growth in clothing exports was greater than the 12.88 percent growth registered in overall exports from Bangladesh during the period under review.
In the first half of the current financial year, Bangladesh garment exports grew at 19.95 percent year-on-year. But, the growth rate has gradually decreased since then, mainly due to the implementation of the 76.66 percent rise in minimum wage for entry-level workers in the clothing industry since December 1, 2013.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve competence and productivity in the readymade garment (RMG) sector of Bangladesh.
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.