Exploring newer foreign markets has become an earnest necessity for Bangladesh as the government has set a target of exporting $ 50billion readymade garment next fiscal, experts said. As recession across the globe continues, the country’s readymade garment (RMG) export is facing a serious setback, they mentioned.
They said many foreign countries are reluctant to import RMG accessories from Bangladesh as they are reeling under a serious recession. In this regard if the government wants to earn money by exporting RMG, it mush device a new policy and strategy on how Bangladesh can explore new destinations to increase export earnings from this sector, they said.
Apparel export leaders said with slowing global demand, the Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) industry is facing unexpected hurdles in meeting the $50 billion export target by 2021. The failure to diversify products and explore new markets are proving to be major factors in losing competitiveness with other exporting countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, India and Pakistan, they added.
However, the country has fetched $16 billion export earnings from readymade garments (RMG) during July-December in current fiscal due to lack of global demand. This earning decreased by 6.21 percent compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal of $17 billion, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.
This sector brought more than 83 percent of the total export earnings that was $19.30 billion. The export in this sector has not achieved the fixed target that went down by 13.74 percent during the month. The target was $18.57 billion for the period. The RMG export witnessed a robust growth in the last fiscal year increasing by 11.49 percent to stand at $34.13 billion due to different initiatives undertaken by the government.
In fiscal year 2017-18, the earnings were $30.61 billion. Secretary of Textiles and Jute Ministry Lokman Hossain Mia said, “The government has taken elaborate action plans to make the sector stronger and competent in the business market. A total of 42 textile vocational institutes, 7 textile institutes and 7 textile engineering colleges have been established under the government supervisions, to develop highly skilled textile technicians for the rapidly developing sector.”
The government is working relentlessly to maintain the stability of the sector by coordinating with the adhering sectors and delivering fast service to the consumers, he commented. A total of nine organizations and business enterprises will be awarded under different categories to enhance the RMG export and speed up the development, he added.
BGMEA President Rubana Huq said, “We need to focus on certain areas to expand the RMG sector which is obviously aimed at earning more.” She said, “We need to be aware of the current market trend and carefully study all the possible options of value addition and product diversification to attract more orders from foreign buyers.”
“We need to adapt to new technologies and infrastructure and ensure quality. Otherwise, buyers would gradually shift to countries where they offer quality and use modern technology”, she added. Former lead economist Zahid Hussain told The Bangladesh Post, “Bangladesh economy is growing but it has a lot of challenges ahead.”
He said, “The country’s major economic indicators have already shown down trend. Hence, the government should take some new policies to cope with the situation.” He mentioned, “The government should emphasize on improving ease of doing business, infrastructure development and communication system, which will encourage local and foreign investors to inject funds into different sectors.”
Hussain mentioned, “Vietnam has gotten advantages from China and the US trade war as the country has built many economic zones for investors to ensure business friendly environment.” “Bangladesh is building 100 special economic zones, which will help to attract investors to invest in the country, but the government should quickly build some economic zones”, he said.