Bangladesh is favoured as a garment exporter because of low labour costs, abundant labour and duty-free access to western markets

Bangladesh is favoured as a garment exporter because of low labour costs, abundant labour and duty-free access to western markets

Bangladesh's exports of ready-made garments have risen more than 14.5% year-on-year to US$8.19bn for the quarter to September.

Data released by the Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh shows that from July-September, ready-made garment exports rose 14.7% against the same quarter a year earlier. Within this, knitwear exports grew 12% to $4.2bn, while woven garments were up 17.3% to $3.9bn

According to the re:source by just-style strategic planning tool, Bangladesh is the world's second-largest ready-made garment exporter, worth around US$28bn per year, thanks to its low labour costs, abundant labour, and duty-free access to western markets. The EU and the US are the biggest importers of Bangladeshi ready-made garments.

The EPB says for the quarter ending September, Germany absorbed $886m worth of articles of clothing from Bangladesh. The UK took US$535.9m and the US imported $498.9m for the period.

Last month, the Bangladesh government agreed a 51% rise in the minimum wage for garment workers to US$95 per month, which is due to come into effect in December. The last increase was made in 2013 following international pressure after a string of fatal factory accidents, with the wage increasing to BDT5,300 (US$62).