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RMG sector succeeds by defeating all odds in 2010
Jan '11
The readymade garment (RMG) sector of the country, in spite of facing many ups and downs throughout the year, succeeded to maintain itself on track during 2010, which is highly attributable to a healthy rise in exports. Though, the beginning of the year was not that great, but then a large number of orders started coming in as some of the western countries revived from the effects of recession.

Availability of low-cost labour also helped in switching the attention of the buyers from China to Bangladesh. The garment firms too devoted more time than earlier in evolving new quality and designs for their existing as well as new customers. Also the news of the EU relaxing the 'rules of origin' for Bangladeshi garments from January 1, 2011 too gave rise to more hopes.

On the other hand, the workers' strife for higher wages kept raising the concerns of the industry time and again throughout the year. Also a new minimum wage package was introduced for the workers during the year; however, it met with mixed response from workers.

Regardless of the issues like gas and power crunch, inadequate infrastructural facilities and workers' strife, the sector's exports witnessed a further hike.

As revealed by the Export Promotion Bureau statistics, the knitwear and woven products exports jointly registered a rise of 36.36 percent during the July-November period, as over the corresponding period last year.

Whereas the knitwear exports registered a 36.56 percent growth and stood at $3.6 billion, and woven product's exports too marked a growth of 35.83 percent growth at $2.89 billion.

The mid part of the year saw many garment firms ceasing operations for few days following the workers' strife. The government fetched a solution to the issue by introducing the new minimum wage structure pursuant to which the minimum wage for workers was raised from Tk 1,662 per month to Tk 3,000 per month.

The government, on January 14, 2010 constituted a Minimum Wage Board comprising of six members for formulation of the new wage which became effective since November 1 onwards.

In view of the exporters, government officials and industry experts, the robust growth of the sector was attributable to the revival of western countries from the effects of economic crisis, availability of low-cost labour, production of primary garment products and the shift of customers from China.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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