Garment exports to US stagnant | The Daily Star
12:26 AM, June 04, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:55 AM, June 04, 2013

Garment exports to US stagnant

But Vietnam and Cambodia are doing a good business in the market

Bangladesh's garment exports to the US remained stagnant during the July-March period of the current fiscal year, the Centre for Policy Dialogue found in a study, which was released yesterday.
But Bangladesh's competitors such as Vietnam and Cambodia saw a rise in their exports to the US market during the period, according to the study.
Bangladesh's garment export growth remained static at 0.96 percent during the period compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year, whereas Vietnam logged a 9.5 percent rise.
Garment makers blamed the dull exports on political unrest, long lead-time, accidents like the Rana Plaza collapse, higher production cost and the devaluation of the dollar against the taka.
“Vietnam is doing an aggressive marketing in the US. They are grabbing the Chinese orders too. As a result, its exports to the US are increasing,” Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the CPD, told The Daily Star by phone.
“International retailers have already shifted a portion of their orders from Bangladesh to other countries on a temporary basis,” said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
But if the retailers leave Bangladesh for ever, it will be a big problem, he added.
“I fear orders will decline further during the next spring if we cannot improve the political environment and working condition,” Islam said.
He said although Bangladesh is losing its business, the cost of production is increasing by around 13 percent a year for various reasons.
Bangladeshi garment makers are less interested in exporting to the US, as the market does not give any duty benefit for Bangladeshi products, said Fazlul Hoque, a former president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Also there has been no significant investment in the garment sector over the last few years, which brought sluggishness in exports, he added.
In contrast, as the EU offers duty-free benefit, Bangladeshi garment makers export more to the European countries, he said.
In the EU markets, garment exports from Bangladesh posted a modest growth at 6.2 percent during the July-February period, while Vietnam recorded 1.11 percent, Cambodia 23.27 percent and Turkey 6.56 percent growth, the CPD study found.

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