Sweater exports post an 18.57% rise
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, in July- January period of the fiscal year 2018-19, Bangladesh earned $2.93 billion exporting sweaters, which is 18.57% higher compared to $2.47 billion in the same period last year.
Talking to Textile Today, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Vice President Mohammed Nasir attributed extended winter season and quality of the product for the Sharp rise in export earnings from the sweater sector.
In addition, the manufacturers also have upgraded the technology in meeting the global demands and to improve the quality of goods, which attracted the buyers’ attention and they placed more orders, said Nasir.
|Bangladesh’s Sweater Export to the world: Value in billion USD|
|2017-18 (July-Jan)||2018-19 (July-Jan)||Growth|
In the current year, we are hoping to register over 20% growth as the industry is now one of the safest in the world and buyers are placing more work orders, said the business leader.
But the government has to provide policy support and gas and electricity connection to the new entrepreneurs so that we can increase our capacity to lead the global export market, he added.
manufacturers also have upgraded the technology in meeting the global demands and to improve the quality of goods, which attracted the buyers’ attention and they placed more orders.
Meanwhile, the trade analysts termed the growth as a good sign for the Bangladesh economy as it would help to enlarge the export earnings and help the diversification of products.
“Right now, Bangladesh is taking the lead in the global export market in apparel goods, where sweater products are contributing over $3.50 billion. So, the sharp rise in export earnings from the sector will be a blessing for Bangladesh to reach the export target of $50 billion by 2021,” former Finance Advisor to Bangladesh caretaker government AB Mirza Azizul Islam told the Textile Today.
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In maintaining the growth, manufacturers have to move for diversifying goods as well as to explore new markets. In addition, the government has to play an important role in availing duty-free market access where there is an opportunity to grow, said Islam.
However, the manufacturers urged the global retailers and brands to increase prices of goods as the production cost has gone up sharply due to expenses of safety improvement.
In the last few years, the production cost of apparel goods went up by over 15% as the manufacturers have to bear the expenses of safety equipment to ensure a safe workplace for the workers, said Nasir.
While the implementation of the new wage structure is another burden for the owners but the brands are not increasing prices of goods, said Nasir urging to consider the price issue.
On the other hand, in order to grab a larger market share, Bangladesh has to increase port capacity to reduce lead-time, while inefficiency of infrastructure is another impediment that needs to be addressed.
Bangladeshi sweater manufacturers import spin from China and it takes eight to ten days to reach Chattogram port, from where it takes 16 days to reach factory premises from the port. It should be a six-hour journey from Dhaka to Chattogram when carrying finished goods for shipment, but it takes up to 24 hours to reach the port city.