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Infrastructural constraints threaten garment industry

Mar '07
According to the preliminary trade data of the US Department of Commerce, Bangladesh's apparel exports to the US secured the second position after Indonesia in terms of growth in 2006 compared to the last year.

During the last fiscal year Indonesia was on the top as an apparel-exporting country to the US market with a growth of 27.57 percent to US $3.67 billion, while Bangladesh recorded a growth of 22.87 percent to $2.91 billion.

Cambodia has seen the growth of 24.69 percent to $2.13 billion. The Vietnamese export recorded growth of 18.26 percent to $3.22 billion last year.

"Increased demand for low-cost apparels among the middle and low-income groups has created a strong market for Bangladeshi products," the Asian Development Bank released its quarterly economic update on Bangladesh's economy.

Although Bangladesh has enormous potentials and two decades of experience in dealing with the US, the country would face a big challenge from Vietnam as an emerging country which has no infrastructure constraints.

Infrastructural constraints in Bangladesh like weakness in ports and disorganized road and rail operation create a serious threat to the long-term sustainability in the garment industry.

Bangladesh's textile sector annually earns about $8 billion from exports mainly to the US and EU countries. Around 1.8 million workers are employed in the industry.

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