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Bangladesh emerges top global exporter of T-shirts

T-shirts have the biggest share in Bangladesh's exports of readymade garments. T-shirt orders are heading for Bangladesh bypassing key competitors like China and India.

Bangladesh has become the world’s second largest T-shirt exporter after China. T-shirt makers in Bangladesh fetch 24.5 per cent of the overall income from garment exports and account for nearly 50 per cent of knitwear shipments. To cope with the increasing demand for T-shirts, the country's knitwear industry is poised to enter a new era of business with massive expansion and significant upgrading. There are nearly 1,000 factories around Dhaka, and the port city of Chittagong and elsewhere involved in the T-shirt business.

Nearly 80 per cent of the T-shirts go to the EU market. Competitive wage rates, easily trainable local workforce and entrepreneurial skills combined with government policy support have been helping the significant growth of the T-shirt industry. Local sources are providing more than 90 per cent of the fabrics needed for production. With tremendous growth in T-shirt exports, the capacity of backward linkages, including buttons and zippers, has also gradually increased in recent times.

Many garment industries have their own dyeing and finishing units. Separate dyeing and finishing industries also have grown up over time to support the sector.