During the past two decades, Bangladesh has developed a successful export oriented garment industry. More particularly, the knitwear industry has witnessed a phenomenal growth. Today, knitwear from Bangladesh is exported to 90 countries; worldwide. Analysis by the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) revealed that the country has secured 12% higher export orders during October 2008, over the corresponding period in 2007. US is the main importer for knitwear garments. Korea, Russia, and North America are the new markets that are currently being explored.

 

While speaking about the prospects of the knitwear industry in an exclusive interview with &sec=article&uinfo=<%=server.URLEncode(1640)%>" target="_blank">Fibre2Fashion, Mr Farhad Hussain, Senior Executive, BGMEA, said, The knitwear is one of the fast growing industries of Bangladesh, as fabric for knitwear spinning is easily available in the market and investment required to produce this particular material is quite small compared to other sectors.

 

Key Factors for Augmentation:

 

Initially, Bangladesh was manufacturing woven garments. Production of knitwear garments started later on, but surpassed the former industry very quickly. There are a few factors, favorable to the knitwear industry, which has enhanced its growth.

 

  • The core strength of the country's knitwear industry is its backward linkage. Manufacturers; apart from focusing on increasing the stitching capacity, have also invested in the allied industry to increase its overall capacity. Knitwear industry of Bangladesh has become self sufficient in yarn and fabric, due to the integrated growth of spinning factories. Local suppliers are able to provide more than 90% of the total fabric requirement of the knitwear industry. 70% of the manufacturers procure their yarn from the spinners within the country.

 

  • Majority of the knitwear manufacturers are located in the main centres of Chittagong, Suburban Dhaka, Narayanganj and Gazipur districts which are located outside the Export Processing Zones (EPZ).

 

  • Knitwear industry in Bangladesh has unbeatable price advantages. They have cheap and abundant availability of work force, with unparallel stitching abilities. The industry in Bangladesh aids in reducing poverty in the country by generating employment opportunities especially to entry-level workers. Sharing his views about the labor force, Mr. Hussain states, Labor, in the country used to be underpaid. The garment sector engages the highest number of women laborers and most of them were unskilled. However, presently, the Government, in order to diminish the woes of this working class, has hiked wages. This in turn proved fruitful for the industry.

 

Knitwear to overtake Woven Industry:

 

Increase in the use of domestic inputs has initiated the growth of knitwear industry. On the contrary, due to inadequate quantity of woven cloth manufactured domestically, woven manufacturers have to depend on imports. Due to this, knitwear industry has overtaken the woven sector, their export figures for 2007/08 being more than that of the woven sector. Domestically manufactured inputs like yarn curtails the lead time and makes the products more appealing to the international buyers.

 

The overall garment and clothing industry in Bangladesh is going through unprecedented expansion, with a year-on-year 20% growth rate. Knitwear remains the highest contributor to the exports of the country. Along with all the available resources, weak dollar value, aggressive marketing, and supportive political environment also aid for the growth of the knitwear segment.

 

References:

 

  1. &sec=article&uinfo=<%=server.URLEncode(1640)%>" target="_blank">http://www.bkmea.com
  2. &sec=article&uinfo=<%=server.URLEncode(1640)%>" target="_blank">http://www.knittingindustry.com
  3. &sec=article&uinfo=<%=server.URLEncode(1640)%>" target="_blank">http://textile.2456.com