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Bangladesh apparel exports to China, Japan fall

Bangladesh's apparel exports to China and Japan world's second-and third-largest economies fell significantly this fiscal as businesses failed to reap benefit of duty-free market access. Exporters cited a number of bottlenecks that caused the fall.

The country received $74.30 million from apparel exports to China in a 10.15 per cent negative growth during the period over that of corresponding period of FY2016-17, according to data available with the Export Promotion Bureau. Growth in export earnings from Japan also declined, by 9.81 per cent to $170.83 million, during the July-September period of the current fiscal from $189 million fetched in the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Exporters and experts found the absence of proper networking from the industry level to increase the bilateral trade with China and Japan, resulting in the setback. Former president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Fazlul Haque held the private entrepreneurs responsible for the poor performance on the vast Chinese market. According to him Vietnamese exporters get advantage due to their proximity with China and also because they make diversified products using manmade fibres. On the other hand, apparel exports to major traditional markets witnessed a mixed growth, data showed.

Germany, the single-largest EU destination for Bangladesh apparel items, imported garments worth $1.29 billion in July-September period, a meagre growth of 0.85 per cent over the corresponding figure in 2016-17.The country's earnings from France recorded a slow growth of 4.85 per cent to $374.11 million.