RMG exports rise as demand buoyant
Garment exports went up by more than 37 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period a year ago, according to government data.
The growth came due to a higher demand for Bangladeshi textile products abroad and the success of the country in exploring new markets.
In the July-October period, the country fetched $6.8 billion from exports.
The latest data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) shows that Bangladesh exported knitwear items worth $2.88 billion, a 37.97 percent rise, during the period.
Woven items logged in $2.34 billion with a growth of 39.45 percent.
Jalal Ahmed, vice-chairman of EPB, said exports from Bangladesh are increasing mainly because of higher shipments to the new destinations and a rebound in exports of some items such as leather and leather goods.
"We are also maintaining a good export growth in China and Japan," Ahmed said.
India has also become a good market for Bangladesh, and so apparel export is growing, he said.
Ahmed said export of leather and leather goods faced a serious setback a few months ago due to anthrax scare, but such exports are rebounding now.
He said some non-traditional items like plastic waste have entered the export basket.
Habibur Rahman, acting president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, attributed the export growth to a shift in orders from other competing countries, especially China, the world's largest apparel supplier.
"The knitwear sector is receiving a significant number of orders as those were diverted from China to Bangladesh due to higher production cost there," Rahman said.
Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the global financial meltdown was a blessing for Bangladesh.
"Many international buyers have shifted their orders to Bangladesh from other countries for higher cost of production during the global recession," Murshedy said.
Stable cotton prices and smooth operations of Chittagong Port are necessary to ensure a sustainable growth of apparel exports, he said.