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Bangladeshi clothing exporters score over India
Dec '09
A small country like Bangladesh has been able to overtake and pip India in exports of garments to the US, which is the biggest buyer of clothing in the world. This growth in exports has come August 2008 onwards, from which time onwards Bangladesh has been able to grow, while that of India has fallen in shipments to the US.

The US which imports around $70 billion worth of clothing each year, accounts for nearly 25 percent of all apparel exports from India. Bangladesh has overtaken India in apparel exports to the US, this year. For the first nine months, its exports stood at $2.66 billion, ahead of India's $2.27 billion.

The reason for the above is not far to seek. Exports from the clothing sector in countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam are growing with each passing year. In spite of the global crisis the, the growth rate of the textile and garment industry from both countries has fallen marginally when compared to that of India and Bangladesh. The main point on which these countries score over India is price competitiveness.

Bangladesh has bigger and more technology oriented garment units which are more productive than their Indian counterparts and which gives them a pricing edge in dealing with global apparel companies and retailers vis-à-vis Indian manufacturers. They also have very low labour costs in comparison to India. Indian labour costs are nearly double that of Bangladesh. Labour accounts for a large chunk of operating costs in apparel manufacturing units.

The Indian textile and garment export sector has been crying for help from the government to help them survive the crisis and association bodies have submitted umpteen numbers of memorandums on the same. But at the same time it is the exporters who will have to take the lead in improving their competitiveness as well tackling bottlenecks in a bid to survive through the crisis as well as maintaining decent growth rates.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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