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Labour cost affects apparel prices

Apr '07
For a picture postcard size country like the Kingdom of Bahrain, 70 percent exports comprise textiles and apparels, definitely means a lot for the industries in question.

Since the US-Bahrain FTA came in to force from August 1, 2006, Bahrain's textiles and apparel exports to US stood at US $159.532 million and $113.842 million, for the years 2005 and 2006, respectively. In January, $12.280 million worth textiles and apparel exports from Bahrain have been registered so far, according to the US trade statistics.

According to Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Bahrain's ready made garment exports to USA, Canada, Europe and some Asian countries have reached 87,267,863 square meters, with a value of US $233,643,054.

Harinder Lamba, Vice Chairman, Garment Factories Committee of The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and owner of MRS Fashions explains to Fibre2fashion.com about the state of this industry prevailing there.

“Bahrain has only five manufacturing companies which specialize in woven bottoms sold to GAP, Kohl's, JCPenney, Levis, Wal-Mart etc. Each company has a capacity to make 25, 000 dozen bottoms per month,” says Lamba.

Lamba goes to elaborate how labour costs are upsetting the prices of manufactured garments even as most of the raw material is imported from China.

Lamba says, “The labour cost is very high. This is the only factor which influences the apparel price. On an average, a local worker earns US $400 per month. Usually an expat from Asia, besides his salary, housing, food, work permit costs almost totals up to that figure.”

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