"Investors will invest in industries, which are more viable in the longer term," Md Siddiqur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told Fibre2Fashion.
Speaking about the concept of awarding special economic zones (SEZs) to countries like UK and China, Rahman said, "Garment industry in Bangladesh has a clear prospect to grow further. This indicates the need for planned industrial zones where factories can be set-up as we have scarce land. SEZs will be a vital force to flourish this industry further in a more organised way, resolving the issue of land availability to a significant extent."
Bangladesh is also working on decreasing its dependency on imports as there has been a significant capacity building in the area of yarn and fabrics manufacturing, especially for knitwear items.
"Around 80 per cent of the knitted fabrics are produced in Bangladesh. Denim production capacity has also got a significant boost in the last decade. Almost 50 per cent of the demand for denim fabric by our export oriented garment industry is being fulfilled by our local denim mills. Besides, Bangladesh produces almost 100 per cent of its accessories needed locally," added Rahman.
The country is dependent on external sources mostly for fibre, because it does not grow cotton or petrochemical products. It is lagging behind in woven fabric production, which has potentials for investment, noted the president of BGMEA.
Talking about the internal apparel market of Bangladesh, Rahman said, "The purchasing power and per capita income is growing in Bangladesh leading to increasing consumption and retail market size in the country."
Bangladesh progress on doing own labels/brands is still not mentionable, but it is producing for global brands.
"Our factories are now getting prepared for the next leap forward. In-house design development, presentation of collections to buyers, investments in high value added production capacity, etc. are happening in our apparel industry," said Rahman. (KD)
Click here to read the complete interview
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