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Garment exports to maintain fast track growth
May '11
Bangladesh, with influx of more renowned brands and buyers, is slowly making its presence felt in the global garment sector. The country's growing share in the international garment business is now almost touching five percent.

Also, over the last few years, the sector's contribution to country's overall exports has remained above 75 percent.

The country's contribution to the global garment business is growing as in some respects it is in a beneficial position than its competitors. In fact, the more a country can take advantage of its comparative benefits, the more it would benefit in global trade.

Bangladesh has comparative advantage in terms of low-cost labour, supportive Government policy for garment business and easy market access. All these factors have jointly earned Bangladesh's garment sector a success, in spite of its total dependence on the key ingredient, raw cotton.

A supportive government would always be a driver of industry's growth, particularly in drawing sector-related foreign direct investment. In this respect, the Bangladesh Government has been the most supportive considering the relatively greater significance of the textile industry in the broader economy.

As regards provision of a favourable infrastructure environment for the industry, Sri Lanka with an infrastructure rating of 45.7 is ahead of Bangladesh which has a rating of 41.6, and Pakistan which has a rating of 35.5.

Bangladesh has been suffering power crunch for long, which is leading to severe despair in the garment sector as a whole, as energy crisis suppresses the production process.

In order to tackle its infrastructural inefficiency, the country has recently inked a deal with Summit Group for development of the $2.9 billion Padma Bridge and to develop four power plants to generate 1167 megawatts (MW) of power.

As stated by an expert on Bangladeshi garment industry, “The overseas buyers are placing bulk orders with the industry here, and the garment exports would continue to grow at a rate of around 25 percent during next 15 years.”

China, on the other hand, is losing its competitive edge in international garment trade as the garment producers in China are not able to find adequate number of workers, even by paying higher wages.

“This is in favour of Bangladesh”, the expert said, and added that the country is even at an advantage as the European Union has relaxed its Rules of Origin (RoO) clause from January 1, 2011 onwards.

However, he said, that in order to cash in on these advantages, the Government needs to upgrade its port efficiency and infrastructure facility and ensure sufficient gas and power supply to the industrial units.

Bangladesh has a strong base in garment manufacturing, which is in favour of the country, but governmental policy support is essential to sustain this development, the expert stated.

As shown by recent export trends, Bangladesh would lead apparel exports in the US market. In addition, the country is progressing in the Japanese market, pursuant to adoption of China plus one policy by the Japanese Government since 2008.

Undoubtedly, Bangladesh now enjoys wider accessibility to markets across the globe, but China still enjoys a 30 percent share in the global apparel trade, while that of Bangladesh is slightly below five percent.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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