Textile manufacturing group American and Efird (A&E) Bangladesh is setting up a new manufacturing unit next year to cater for growing demand.

"We will set up a new facility either in Dhaka or at the new export processing zone in Chittagong. We hope to begin construction work by mid 2008 for the facility to be operational within 2008," said Irfan Thassim, CEO of A&E Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The second A&E unit in Bangladesh is expected to increase the thread manufacturers total output in Bangladesh from around 75 tonnes of thread per month to around 200 tonnes per month.

Apparel exports from Bangladesh are now around US$9bn and the country is the second largest exporter into the US.

Bangladesh's apparel industry is also moving into higher value added clothing, increasing the demand for premium thread.

"The garment industry in Bangladesh is now seen moving into higher-end apparel production and more high-end brands are entering the country. A&E has a commitment to retailers to support their manufacturing process globally. This is another reason to expand in Bangladesh," said Thassim.

A&E Bangladesh is a partnership between A&E Inc, Sri Lanka's Brandix Lanka and Brandot International Ltd. Although commercially operational for three years the company officially launched A&E Bangladesh at the start of this month.

Available products in its Bangladesh range from basic spun polyester threads to cotton and nylon threads, with the yarn imported from A&E spinning mills in China.

By Dilshani Samaraweera.