Exports of ready-made garments from Bangladesh have jumped 12.82% year-on-year for the 10 months to May.
Data from the country’s Export Promotion Bureau shows exports of RMG products rose to $31bn compared with $28bn for the same period a year earlier, breaking government set targets for the sector by 6.95%. Exports of knitwear and woven garments also saw year-on-year increases of 12.5% and 13.13% respectively to $15bn and $16bn. Cotton and cotton product exports rose 20.46% during the period to $141.1m.
Local reports, citing Asif Ibrahim, director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), attributed the increase to higher orders from retailers and brands, as a result of the ongoing trade spat between the US and China. US retailers and brands he said are “flocking to Bangladesh because they want hassle-free shipment and do not want any uncertainty,” according to the Daily Star.
The latest US apparel import figures confirm this, with Bangladesh seeing the biggest growth in shipment volumes across all supplier countries during the first four months of the year, rising 13.91% to 2.03bn SME.
However, at a summit last month, manufacturers in Bangladesh were told to move away from focusing on volume production and focus instead on meeting demand for value-added products. The call was made as concerns are rising about the future of the country’s garment exports once it graduates from least developed country status in 2024 – which currently gives it duty-free access to the European Union, Canada, and Japan.