More apparel buyers look to Bangladesh | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, July 11, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, July 11, 2009

More apparel buyers look to Bangladesh

A worker is seen at a garment factory in Dhaka. Foreign buyers are now shifting orders to Bangladesh for readymade products as the global financial meltdown shows some signs of recovery. Photo: Epyllion Group

With the signs of economic recovery in the western world, foreign buyers now lean towards Bangladesh's readymade (RMG) products, placing orders at an enhanced rate.
Major companies say they are now busy with making sweaters, as buyers are increasingly placing orders for the item in the upcoming winter season.
The country is in an advantageous position with cheap and quality apparels because its competitors like China, Pakistan and India are losing out their market share for their higher cost of production, said Nazrul Islam Swapan, managing director of Nassa Group, an apparel manufacturing giant.
"If the current improvement in the global financial crisis continues, it will be a boon for Bangladesh's apparel makers next June," Swapan said with conviction.
Higher cost of production and shifting to high-end products have driven China out of the apparel market, while Pakistan lost its reputation because it has long been a trouble-torn country, the Nassa Group boss pointed out.
India is also struggling to sustain competition, as its cost of production remains high, Swapan thinks.
"All of my units are pre-occupied with an increased number of international buying orders,” he said. Nassa has more than 36 production units right now.
Chairman of SQ Group Ghulam Faruque said he has also received significant number of orders from renowned western retailers, as the global financial meltdown shows signs of recovery by a certain degree.
Faruque is happy with the increased volume of export orders for sweater, but not with the price the buyers now offer for the item. “The problem lies with the price. It's too low to sustain, but we continue production to stay on competition,” the chief of the SQ Group, another leading apparel maker, lamented, pointing to the fact that the UK buyers are still offering the previous price. "We want higher price to be more competitive," he added.
Managing Director of DEKKO Group Shahadat Hossain Kiron's view on the increased buying orders is similar to others.
'The quantity of orders is higher than it was last year,” Kiron told The Daily Star over phone from Canada, the country he is touring now.
"The quantity is satisfactory, but the problem is price. The western buyers are not paying us a reasonable price, " he said.
However, he pointed out that Bangladesh's low-priced but quality products attract international buyers.
Chairman and Managing Director of Viyellatex Group K M Rezaul Hasanat, who is very upbeat on the country's future prospects for RMG exports, poins to the fact that Bangladesh is now on top priority list of Japan, one of the largest clothing markets.
Hasanat said a good number of Japanese are coming to Bangladesh as the Tokyo government advised the buyers to relocate 30 percent of their businesses to other countries than China.
"As a result, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are on the priority list of Japanese buyers," he said.
He expects a further rise in orders in 15 days from now, as international buyers are coming here for winter collection.

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