Garment makers in Bangladesh expect robust export growth this year due to continuity of political stability, a shift in work orders from China and economic recovery in major export destinations. They brim with confidence as exports grew significantly in the last three months compared to the same period a year ago. In December last year, apparel shipments rose 14.56 per cent year-on-year, in November 14.74 per cent and in October by 18.40 per cent.
Garment makers have a lot of work orders as buyers now prefer Bangladesh to China because of higher production cost and a shortage of skilled workers there. Political unrest in the first few months of 2015 took a toll on exports, as many international retailers could not visit Bangladesh and exporters had to delay or cancel shipments. But the situation is different now.
Brands are cautiously optimistic that the initiated upgrading of factory and workers safety will continue. As China’s manufacturing base is shrinking due to higher cost of production, garment orders are shifting to Bangladesh. So export target for the year are likely to be achieved.
Chinese manufacturing contracted for the 10th straight month in December as demand remained weak and factories trimmed staff and output. Another reason behind the rise in export orders is the improved economic situation in the US and the EU, two major export destinations for Bangladeshi apparel items.