Bangladesh clothing producers who follow good labour standards and comply with good social responsibility practice have seen orders increase in recent months, according to a local buying intermediary group.

The Bangladesh Garment Buying House Association has estimated that orders in "compliant" factories have expanded by 15%-20% in recent months, although some face problems in handling fresh work.

This is because global brands and retailers have restricted sub-contracting and purchasing from factories running in shared buildings following a string of industrial accidents, most notably last April's Rana Plaza disaster.

Mohammed Aminul Islam, the association's secretary general, told just-style that safety awareness had increased even among companies that cannot follow buyers' requirements, but: "It's not possible to change things overnight."

"Our business has improved in [the] January-March quarter compared with the previous quarter [October-December] when we had political turmoil," Sirajul Islam Azad, deputy general manager for administration and human resources at a major exporter the Palmal Group, one of the biggest apparel exporters, told just-style.

Dr Ahsan H Mansur, executive director at Dhaka think-tank the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, predicts that the annual value of the country's garment exports would top US$30bn in the next two years.

"It's achievable. Buyers want to do business with Bangladesh as alternative markets are difficult to navigate," Mansur, a former senior executive of the International Monetary Fund, told just-style.