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Growth of RMG sector up in value, down in volume

Published : 19 Mar 2023 02:23 AM

The Readymade Garment (RMG) sector is witnessing  growth in recent times in terms of  value in export only, but in terms of quantity, it is declining.

However, behind the growth new export destinations have also played a good role. At the same time to increase the export quantity the industry insiders are now putting emphasis on non cotton products that are used widely worldwide.

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) statistics, globally non textile composition now stands at almost 75 percent where cotton stands at 25 percent.

BGMEA president Farque Hassan came up with such an assertion during a press conference on the present industry scenario, held at BGMEA Bhaban situated in the capital's Uttara on Saturday.

He said, "Back in 2018, we imported 20,52,000tonnes of fiber, of which 93.75 percent was cotton. Back in 2018-19, of our total export 74.14 percent was cotton, that was 69 percent in 2008-09. This is a clear picture that our dependence on cotton based products has increased. But it's high time we want to focus on non-cotton product production." 

While talking about why the export earnings in RMG has increased, he said, there are three reasons why our export earnings rose despite the declining quantity. 

“Our production cost has increased significantly due to global price inflation, fuel oil and other raw material prices, etc. that has affected the price. Our industry has seen significant investment in high-value-added products in recent years. Several of our factories are exporting relatively high value items such as jackets, activewear and suits. As a result, the unit price of clothing has increased. Therefore, we have not grown in quantity / volume at the same rate as we have grown in value. Thirdly we are getting a huge response in exporting to new markets as well. In the financial year 2009-10, our apparel exports to non-traditional markets grew significantly as a result of the incentives provided by the government,” he added. 

Regarding the non-cotton production, the BGMEA president further said, “In today’s world, the demand for non-cotton products is increasing due to the continuous change in the lifestyle of consumers and increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly clothing. So we have huge potential in this sector. If we can increase our share in non-cotton, our exports will increase, new investments will come, employment will increase, there will be huge opportunities in the related service sector, above all the direct and indirect revenue collection of the government will increase.”