Garment exports to Germany to rise: buyers

Garment exports to Germany, the second largest export destination for Bangladeshi apparel after the US, will continue to grow in future due to the high quality of products and competitive prices, German traders said.

As a member of the EU, Germany will continue its duty privilege for Bangladesh, said Manfred Junkert, deputy general manager of the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry, at a press conference on the sidelines of the Heimtextil fair in Frankfurt, Germany on Thursday.

Garment exports to Germany have been increasing over the years. Bangladesh exported garments worth $4.65 billion to Germany in fiscal 2015-16, $4.33 billion in 2014-15 and $4.37 billion in 2013-14, according to Export Promotion Bureau.

Talking about Brexit, he said it is a serious issue for them as the UK is a big trading partner of Germany. “If the UK leaves us, there is a possibility of serious consequences for Germany,” Junkert said.

“Brexit may take a long time to become effective, but our industry will suffer.”

The UK is the third largest export destination for Bangladesh after the US and Germany, with Bangladesh shipping apparel worth more than $3 billion to the UK a year.

As a trade bloc, the EU is the largest garment export destination for Bangladesh, offering a zero-duty benefit since 1971 under its Everything but Arm scheme.

Bangladesh exported garments worth $17.15 billion to the EU in fiscal 2015-16, $15.36 billion in 2014-15 and $14.75 billion in 2013-14, according to EPB.

On the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP, Junkert said negotiations have stalled now with the change in power in the US.

“Usually, signing a free trade agreement takes six to seven years. We may have to wait more than this time to sign the TTIP. It now depends on the US government,” Junkert said.

At the press meet, Olaf Schmidt, vice-president of the textile and textile technologies unit of the Messe Frankfurt, the largest trade fair organiser in Germany, said they have plans on hosting fairs in Bangladesh in future.


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