Garment exports of Bangladesh cross $20b mark

The country earned $27.02 billion from exports in the just concluded fiscal year on the back of a strong demand for garment products.

The figure, which is 11.18 percent higher than the previous year, however, missed fiscal 2012-13′s export target of $28 billion, according to the data from Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Readymade garment once again contributed to a lion’s share of the export earnings at 79.63 percent, bringing in $21.52 billion alone, the highest in the country’s history.

Although it represented a growth of 12.71 percent over fiscal 2011-12, the figure narrowly missed the year’s target of $21.54 billion.

Between the July-June period of fiscal 2012-13, the country exported knitwear products worth $10.47 billion and woven garments of $11.03 billion.

“In spite of the adversities like the Rana Plaza collapse, Tazreen fire and political unrest, the sector showed a strong growth, and it is simply down to our price competitiveness,” Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said.

The entry of garment items to new destinations like Japan, India, South Korea, South Africa, Malaysia, Brazil, China, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Chile, too, has been cited by many industry watchers as a factor for the strong performance.

Going forward, Islam suggests corrective measures in a disciplined way to avoid recurrence of the industrial mishaps and consolidate the country’s standing at global apparel trade.

Bangladesh currently stands second, with an approximate 4.80 percent share of the $412 billion pie.

“If the EU suspends the GSP, a negative impact will be felt — otherwise, we will continue to grow.”

After garment, jute and jute goods brought in the next most earnings, of $1.03 billion. Home textile ($791.52 million), agricultural products ($535.74 million), footwear ($419.32 million) and engineering products ($367.47 million) were the other notable export earners.