Bangladesh's ready-made garment industry expects a 10-15% growth in exports for the current fiscal year ending June, despite factory safety issues and recent political instability.

The first eight months of the fiscal year fetched a "morale- boosting" 16.68% rise to US$16.13bn compared to last year's US$13.83bn, Mohammad Hatem, acting president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), told just-style.

This shows "we are on the right path," Hatem said, adding they are "ready to leapfrog" industry rivals in this race.

In the eight months from July 2013, overseas sales of woven garments rose by 15.92% to US$8.22bn, as opposed to US$7.09bn in the last fiscal year, according to Export Promotion Bureau data. And knitwear exports grew faster than wovens at 17.5% to US$7.91bn during the same period compared to last year's US$6.732bn.

A key trend has been market diversification away from the EU and US to new markets such as Russia, Japan, South Africa, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Columbia, Chile and India.

And the industry wants annual knitwear exports to grow to US$23bn by 2020, up from the current US$11-12bn.

This growth in ready-made garment (RMG) sales is because of the "remarkable resilience" of Bangladeshi garment makers and international factory safety initiatives, added Hatem.