Bangladesh`s sweater exports rising; marks 18% gain

BDApparelNews Desk
1 March 2019  

Cozy sweater fashion. Photo courtesy: StyleCaster

Cozy sweater fashion. Photo courtesy: StyleCaster

Bangladesh’s earnings from exporting sweaters, a sub-product of the apparel industry, has increased by 18.63 per cent, totalling USD 2.93 billion, in the first seven months (July-Jan) of FY2018-19.

Industry insiders have attributed this growth to superior production quality and advanced technology, reports The Independent.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh exported sweaters worth USD 2.93 billion, up from USD 2.47 billion in the same period a year ago, in the first seven months (July-Jan) of FY2018-19.

In FY2017-18, Bangladesh fetched USD 3.67 billion from sweater exports, posting a growth of 9.32 per cent.

Mohammed Nasir, vice-president (finance) of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers' and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA), told The Independent that product quality improvement, technological advancement and ongoing trade war between THE US and China have resulted in the double-digit growth.  

From November to January, growth in apparel exports picked up drastically, he added.  

Bangladesh has the capacity to produce huge volume of work orders at affordable rates, which helped to register growth throughout the year, said Nasir, who is also the managing director of Evergreen Sweaters Ltd.

He also said that China is converting their industries into high-tech ones and their labour wages have also gone up. So, Bangladesh can play a major role to grab this opportunity, he added.

“There is a high chance that buyers will be placing more orders in Bangladesh and relocate their business destinations,” said Nasir.

 “Business sustainability is very important and that's why we are exploring new markets along with new products,” he added.

Siddiqur Rahman, president of BGMEA, told The Independent that automation in 90 per cent of the sweater factories has helped increase productivity and cost reduction. This has an effect on the double- digit growth, he noted.

“Bangladesh offers quality products at comparatively reasonable prices. Manufacturers have also introduced advanced technology to improve the quality of goods, so production capacity and the standard of goods have also increased,” said Siddiqur.

Bangladesh exports sweaters to the US and other countries as well, said Nasir.

The inspection of Accord and Alliance has helped to remediate the factories and prompted factory owners to emphasise workplace safety, thereby lifting the country’s image in front of foreign buyers, said Siddiqur.

Eighty green garments factories are in operation which are completely LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design)-certified and another 300 are in the process of getting the certification.

Among the top 10 green garment factories in the world, the first seven are located in Bangladesh, said the BGMEA president.

“We’ve invested around USD 4 billion for ensuring workplace safety and occupational health,” he observed.

“In order to retain a competitive edge in the international market, we need to increase productivity and provide more value to customers,” he added.

According to the EPB, export earnings in readymade garments have maintained a steady growth of 14.51 per cent in the July-January period of FY 2018-19, amounting to USD 20.21 billion compared to the same period of previous year (FY2017-18), which was USD 17.65 billion.