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Bangladesh’s global apparel business on the rise

Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter grabbing 6.4 percent of the global market and creating jobs for 4.4 million of its people, especially women. The journey to success began after the Independence war of 1971, which left battle scars on the economy. Like on the domestic front, the country started a modest journey in overseas trade: it logged $348 million by exporting 25 products to 68 countries in fiscal 1972-73, according to the commerce ministry.

Of the products, only three -- jute, leather and tea -- were prominent, with jute alone fetching 90 per cent of the total export earnings. But the situation took a turn for the better in late 1970s when a band of educated youths began to try their luck in readymade garment shipment. They even had set up factories on the premises of their home or in shared buildings to rope in buyers and subsequently started to find their feet in the global apparel business.