The exports of readymade garments from Bangladesh increased by 14.83 percent to US$ 22.178 billion during the first eleven months of the ongoing fiscal year 2013-14, as against $19.313 billion worth of exports 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 13.46 percent year-on-year to $11.258 billion during July-May 2013-14 period, whereas knitwear exports soared by 16.28 percent to $10.919 billion.
Knitwear and woven garments together accounted for 81 percent of total $27.376 billion exports made by the South Asian nation during the eleven-month period beginning July 1, 2013.
The 14.83 percent growth in clothing exports was greater than the 12.56 percent growth registered in overall exports from Bangladesh during the period under review.
In the first half of the current financial year, Bangladesh’s garment exports grew at 19.95 percent year-on-year. But, the growth rate has dropped a little bit thereafter, 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.
To help continuation of the development of the garment industry, the Bangladesh Government has reduced the duty on flex fibre, a raw material used to make the fabrics bright, from 10 percent to 5 percent for fiscal year 2014-15 that begins on July 1, 2014. Likewise, the duty on artificial staple fibre has also been reduced to 3 percent from the existing 5 percent.
For fiscal year 2014-15, the supplementary duty on almost all woven fabrics has been reduced from the existing 30 percent to 20 percent, on most knitted or crocheted fabrics from 45 percent to 30 percent, on track suits and other garments from 45 percent to 30 percent, and on various clothing accessories form 60 percent to 45 percent.
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.
In last fiscal year 2012-13, Bangladesh exported $11.039 billion worth of woven garments and $10.475 billion worth of knitwear. The Government has set a target of achieving $24.147 billion in garment exports in fiscal year 2013-14.