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Bangladesh aims for $5 billion annual RMG export to China

Bangladesh has the potential to spiral up its annual garment export to $5 billion to China, says analysts. The country’s RMG sector is pampered with duty-free export facilities to China. Siddiqur Rahman, President, BGMEA says they are trying to grab a huge share of China’s local market. China has a population of 1.35 billion, including an increasing middle-class income people, who can be the best buyers of Bangladeshi products. Siddiqur also said his association has not yet drawn up strategies but has made a plan to enhance annual garment export to China to touch $5 billion over the next three to five years. Currently, the country’s RMG export to China is small. In fiscal 2016-17, the country notched $391.59 million from apparel export to China, which is 14.77 per cent year-on-year rise, as per data from the Export Promotion Bureau.

The export to China in FY 2015-16 was $341.22 million and $304.94 million in the previous fiscal. Mirza Azizul Islam, Finance Adviser of the former caretaker government, says China is the best destination but Bangladesh should also take steps to expand its market to the US and Europe. Bangladesh is now getting duty-free privilege in Chinese market and a sound G2G policy. Now, the exporters should focus on the market demand and boost the supply.

As per a recent study conducted by Switzerland-based International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), by end 2020, China would produce $750 billion worth of garments against $300 billion produced now, half for exports and the remaining for domestic consumption.

Currently, China is exporting 20 per cent of the garments it produces after meeting 80 per cent of the local demand. Statistics reveal that the remaining 20 per cent will be valued at around $200 billion by the end of 2020, as the country will have more than half a billion middle-class consumers. Seeing the huge potential market, the BGMEA has decided to enter the Chinese local market.