Bangladesh will continue to be competitive for the next two decades
After capturing a sizable chunk of the readymade garments industry, Bangladesh is exploring new markets. Nasiruddin Ahmed, CEO of Nathan Fashion Ltd, talks about the current market for readymade garments made in Bangladesh in an exclusive interview with Fibre2Fashion.com
What are the chief specifications that European customers look for in readymade garments?
European customers mostly buy garments made from local yarn as that gives duty preferences under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). These garments include T - shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, undergarments, sleepwear and mostly knit fabric items. In cotton, Chief Value Cotton (CVC), Chief Value Synthetic (CVS) poly viscose, poly nylon, woven cotton, T/C N CVC (Textron Cotton and Chief Value Cotton) twill, canvas, denim, sheeting , poplin, trousers, shorts, skirts and jackets.
How different is the market in Europe as compared to that in the United States of America?
The styling is different, including sizing. The United States of America is two years behind Europe. Colours are also different. Except for basic items, European quantities are smaller than American demand.
Which are the other new markets that Bangladesh is exploring?
Bangladesh is exploring new markets like Japan, South Africa, India, China, Korea, Malaysia, a bit in Singapore, Australia and Brazil.
Has Bangladesh moved beyond the cookie-cutter phase where innovative product development and design are showcased to clients?
Yes, 20 per cent of the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh has moved beyond the cookie-cutter phase. We are doing our own innovations to show our customers. Now, designers are being trained by European customers or customers in the United States of America. We are developing and hope to develop more.
Which countries are likely to pose competition to Bangladesh in the near future?
China, if wages go down, may emerge as a competitor. Bangladesh is a very competitive country, and will continue to be so in the next two decades.
What steps are being taken to counter the competition?
Bangladesh has already entered a sustainable production phase. Factories with strong engineering teams are coming up. The teams are trained overseas and are able to challenge the capabilities of developed countries like Japan and China. Production efficiencies have reached close to 90 per cent, reducing costs on Free on Board (FOB) by almost five to seven per cent from standard market pricing.
Apart from the phasing out of quotas in December 2004, what were the other top five reasons that saw this small country emerge so successful in RMG exports?
In fact, the six most important reasons for Bangladesh to forge ahead in the readymade garments segment include:
1. Local knit and woven fabrics
2. Diversification of products
3. Support from Europe by maintaining GSP
4. Reducing manpower by introducing automation
5. Creating an atmosphere giving confidence to customers
6. Bangladesh can deliver volume at one go
Published on: 02/10/2015
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.
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