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July 7, 2021

RMG demand boosts FY exports for Bangladesh

Demand for knitwear pushed up Bangladesh's exports in its last financial year.

By Michelle Russell

Bangladesh saw its exports increase over 15% in the year ended June 2021 thanks to a jump in exports of garments, new data shows.

Figures from the Export Promotion Bureau revealed total exports reached US$38.76bn in the July 2020 to June 2021 financial year, an increase of 15.1%.

The world’s second-largest apparel producer after China saw ready-made garment exports climb 12.5% to $31.5bn from $27.95bn a year earlier. This was thanks to a surge in demand for knitwear products, which were up 21.9% to $16.96bn.

Sales of woven garments, however, rose only 3.2% to $14.5bn from $14.04bn a year earlier.

A report published earlier this month by the World Bank Group claims Bangladesh needs to create a more favourable trade and investment environment, and modernise its ready-made garment (RMG) sector if it is to support a more competitive and diversified private sector that can drive growth and create jobs.

The report suggests a modernised RMG sector could surpass the country’s US$50bn export target and become increasingly characterised by market diversification, greater inflows of FDI and technology transfers, production of higher-value products, progress on design and branding, and the development of upstream and downstream industries to help offset job losses resulting from automation, restructuring, and Covid-19 impacts in RMG global value chains (GVCs).

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