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Bangladesh needs to work on RMG sector to boost exports

"America holds the prime position for Bangladesh when it comes to textile exports but after the Rana Plaza tragedy, exports were greatly impacted. A look at the stats, in fiscal year 2016 reveals, $530.56 crore worth of RMG products were exported to the US and in 2015, $540 crore worth of clothing was exported from Bangladesh. As a result, the rate of garment export to US decreased 1.7 per cent in 2016. China is the top garment exporter to the United States. China exported $2,316 crore worth of clothing in the first 10 months of current year (2017). This export was 3.64 per cent less than the same period of previous year."

 

 

Bangladesh needs to work on RMG sector to boost exports

 

America holds the prime position for Bangladesh when it comes to textile exports but after the Rana Plaza tragedy, exports were greatly impacted. A look at the stats, in fiscal year 2016 reveals, $530.56 crore worth of RMG products were exported to the US and in 2015, $540 crore worth of clothing was exported from Bangladesh. As a result, the rate of garment export to US decreased 1.7 per cent in 2016. China is the top garment exporter to the United States. China exported $2,316 crore worth of clothing in the first 10 months of current year (2017). This export was 3.64 per cent less than the same period of previous year. Vietnam is the second largest exporter to the US.

Bangladesh needs to work on RMG sector to boost

 

The country exported clothing worth $984 crore and registered 6.79 per cent growth. Holding the next respective positions are Bangladesh, Indonesia and India. From January to October 31, 2017 Indonesia exported $393 crore and marked 2.81 percent negative growth. At the same time, India exported $321 crore achieving 2.6 percent growth. Bangladesh has exported US$ 435 crore worth of apparel items in the first 10 months of 2017 marking 4.93 per cent negative growth comparing to the same period of 2016.

Issues faced by Bangladesh

Besides lost faith owing to Rana Plaza incident, there are complexities of the Chittagong Port, which is increasing lead time. Besides, the industry people said some labour organizations and representatives of NGOs are spreading propaganda that Bangladesh does not have labour rights. President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Md Siddiqur Rahman says the lack of efficiency in Bangladesh’s ports is largely responsible for the decline in earnings from the RMG export to the US.

During a recent meeting with US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, said that the great problem facing Bangladesh’s RMG sector lies with lead time. In today’s competitive markets, buyers want their goods delivered within a very short time. But manufacturers in Bangladesh require unreasonably longer lead time compared to other countries. As a result, exports to the US have declined. In order to reduce the lead time, it was necessary to improve the efficiency in the ports to make sure products are delivered on time. Additionally, there is a need to establish more textile mills to meet the local demands to reduce the lead time.

US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat also emphasised on enhancing the capacity of the country’s existing ports. If Bangladesh does not make the ports more efficient, it will fall behind other competitors. The RMG sector would remain an important part of Bangladesh’s economy for years to come, it is a crucial period for the sector for which the US wants to work together as a partner of Bangladesh to make sure the industry is strong and that both labour rights and safety of RMG workers are ensured.

 
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