The export of 'Made in Bangladesh' bicycles has maintained a steady rise over the last few years with shipments of the item increasing 58 percent in the just concluded fiscal 2020-21.
Bangladesh exported bicycles worth US$130.89 million in FY21, up US$58.05 million from US$82.84 million in FY20, according to the latest data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
Just a decade ago, Bangladesh was the eco-friendly imported bicycle market and the local traders used to bring complete bicycles or parts from abroad and market them here.
But the situation has changed with Bangladesh now one step ahead in the export of bicycles to 28 countries of the European Union (EU), and bicycles being the largest export of Bangladesh’s engineering sector, contributing about 12 percent of engineering exports, said an EPB official
According to the World Bank (WB), Bangladesh is the 3nd largest non-EU exporter of bicycles to the EU market and the 8th largest exporter globally.
Bangladesh now exports bicycles to 28 countries of the European Union (EU).
At present, Bangladesh imports 40 to 50 per cent of the bicycle manufacturing materials and the rest is produced domestically. Chain, wheel and brake materials are imported from China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam and materials like frames, forks, rings, tires and tubes are produced by local companies.
As the global bicycle market is expected to grow to $34.9 billion by 2022, Bangladesh has an opportunity to boost export of bicycles if the local manufacturers are given necessary policy and financial support, said the WB.
The Meghna Group bought a government bicycle manufacturing company in Tejgaon, two decades ago in 1996 for export and this group is now producing bicycles in three units—Trans World Bicycle, Uniglory and Mahin Bicycle.
Then in 1998, Malaysia-based Alita BD set up a 100 percent export oriented bicycle manufacturing factory in the Chattogram Export Processing Zone (EPZ). Taiwan-based 'Corvo' set up another factory in the same EPZ for local market and export purposes.
Meghna Group started exporting bicycles in 2003. Besides, tires and tubes produced in its factories are being exported directly to 16 countries around the world.
And in 2014, Pran-RFL Group came up with a great 'Duronto' brand bicycle.
Bangladeshi companies also have bicycles priced from Tk 5,000 to Tk 100,000. Germany is the largest importer of Bangladeshi bicycles among EU countries. Denmark and the United Kingdom are the second and third largest countries to import bicycles from Bangladesh.
Besides, bicycles are being exported to the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Bulgaria and other countries in Europe.