Textile, machinery market growing fast in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has become one of the important hotspots for textile and garment machinery amidst the quest of entrepreneurs to improve productivity and cater to orders of apparel shifting from other countries.
The sales of textile and garment machinery, now more than $4 billion in Bangladesh, are growing by 20 per cent annually because of high demand.
These were estimates of machinery suppliers attending the 17th Dhaka International Textile & Garment Machinery Exhibition 2023 at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka. The four-day event began yesterday.
The event, one of South Asia's biggest textile and garment machinery expositions, is taking place in Dhaka after a gap of three years due to the severe fallout of Covid-19.
The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), Yorkers Trade & Marketing Service Company, Hongkong, and Chan Chao International Company, Taiwan are jointly organising the exposition.
"Bangladesh is a good market for my company. And the business of my company has grown despite the pandemic," said Gianpiero Valsecchi, sales area manager of Santoni, an Italian textile machinery producer with operations in China.
In the past two years, his business grew 40 per cent year-on-year in Bangladesh in spite of the pandemic's impacts because a lot of businesspeople unable to travel abroad had booked machinery online.
"Bangladesh will continue to grow its textile and garment business as global clothing retailers and brands are relocating work orders here from other countries."
"Currently, the demand for clothing items is a bit low because of the Russia-Ukraine war but it will also be reversed soon."
Thomas Streicher, area sales and product manager of Trutzschler, a German machinery company, also said Bangladesh was one of the markets bearing the most potential for his company.
International retailers and brands are coming here with a lot of work orders and Bangladesh has the advantage of having a competitive labour force and good know-how, he said.
"We delivered a lot of machines here and we are very much optimistic that the Bangladesh market will grow a lot in the future."
His company mainly supplies spinning machines and so far, the company supplied 600 machines to customers in Bangladesh.
"Of course, Bangladesh is the number one destination for my company as the sales are increasing with high demand from the customers," said Ikuto Umeda, chief executive officer of Shima Seiki (Hong Kong).
Umeda's company has supplied 20,000 machines to 200 local customers over the past seven years.
For the pandemic and the war, European consumers are having to pass difficult times which also slowed down sales a bit in Bangladesh, he said.
"In spite of a lot of challenges, the business is growing for my company in Bangladesh, although the growth has slowed down to some extent."
Akai Lin, overseas director of Chan Chao International Company, co-organiser of the exhibition, said when his company held the exposition in Dhaka for the first time in 2004, Bangladesh was the fourth largest apparel supplier worldwide.
"Now the country has emerged as the second-largest garment exporter. This indicates the strength of the sector."
The demand for machinery making use of man-made fibres is growing in Bangladesh as local entrepreneurs are putting in a lot of investment in the artificial textile industry to grab a bigger share of the market.
Some 1,200 companies from 35 countries are participating in the four-day event, according to Judy Wang, executive director (overseas) of Chan Chao International Company.
Mainly the machinery making use of advanced technology to enable high productivity is being showcased as the nature of productivity in the industries has changed over the last couple of years, she said.
"So, many companies are interested to invest in Bangladesh," she said, adding that this was why the country was popular with international retailers and brands.
At the opening of the event, Salman F Rahman, the prime minister's adviser on private industry and investment, suggested that local entrepreneurs invest more in manmade fibres.
"This was due to the fact that of all the garments traded worldwide, 70 per cent was made from manmade fibres. But 90 per cent of garments made in Bangladesh comprise cotton and mixed fibres. So, Bangladesh has a good opportunity to invest in manmade fibres."
Md Jashim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said Bangladesh has a target to export $300 billion worth of merchandise by 2041.
"Innovative and sustainable garment items will help achieve the target."
Mohammad Ali Khokon, president of the BTMA, thanked the government for taking measures for importing liquefied natural gas to deal with the energy crunch.