Readymade garment (RMG) export witnessed a robust growth in the just-concluded fiscal increasing by 11.49 percent due to different initiatives undertaken by the government. Higher rates of US dollar and improving products quality also contributed to the steady rise, experts said. The earnings, which in the previous 2017-18 fiscal were $30.61 billion, stands at $34.13 billion now. The RMG accounted for 84.2 percent of $40.53 billion total export earnings during the last fiscal.
The RMG exports also exceeded the $32.69 billion export target, or 4.42 percent growth target, set for the fiscal year. More than 84 percent or $37.42 billion of the total export earnings is expected to come from the readymade garment (RMG) sector for fiscal year 2019-20, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) officials said.
On the other hand, the knitwear export stood at $16.88 billion during the last fiscal, posting 11.19 percent growth from $15.18 billion in FY18. Export earnings from the woven rose by 17.79 percent to $17.24 billion in the last fiscal from $15.42 billion in the FY18. Knitwear and woven export earnings crossed the target by 4.57 percent and 4.27 percent respectively. The figures were $16.15 billion (knitwear) and $16.53 billion (woven) correspondingly.
BGMEA President Rubana Huq told Bangladesh Post, “We need to focus on certain areas to expand the RMG sector which is obviously aimed at more earnings.” 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.” Abdus Salam Murshedy, President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB), told Bangladesh Post, the country is getting more work orders which shifted from China resulting from the US-China trade war.
Foreign buyers have felt confident as the image of the country’s garment sector has recently improved significantly because of the remediation carried out as per requirements of the international community, he said. He said, the country’s apparel export to the US market, the largest export destination for garment, has recently increased more than 10 percent due to the trade war.
He noted that the country is now capable of making the best quality products at low prices, which will help enhance exports to the US market. “Popular clothing retailers and brands in the US are already trying to shift from China to other destinations like Bangladesh, as cost of production in China is too high,” he observed.