It is encouraging to note that Bangladesh readymade garments (RMG) export has hit a record growth in the European market recently. According to the latest data published by the European statistics organization EUROSTAT, between January and November 2022, the European Union bought 38.39 per cent more garments from Bangladesh than that in 2021. EUROSTAT data show that cumulatively in January to November 2022 period, EU imported USD 95.17 billion worth of apparel from the world, noting 22.39 percent year-on-year growth.
It is worth noting that RMG exports from Bangladesh rebounded strongly in the last year, recording 24 per cent annual growth. Reportedly, Bangladesh holds the second position in the European market and the third position in the US market in the export of ready-made garments.
We should take the privilege of low cost production that we are enjoying in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is now capable of making quality products at low prices. Therefore, the government needs to encourage entrepreneurs by giving several fiscal and technical supports. Also, there is a need for an exemption of taxes on raw materials and backward linkage industries to survive competition with others, which will help expand the country’s export earnings.
A comprehensive policy package
coupled with supportive
governmental incentives will
help our export industry grow further
A recent study says that low productivity, shortage of mid-level management professionals and limited backward and forward linkages are among major challenges that need to be addressed for further expansion of the country’s RMG sector. The other challenges identified by the study included dependency on import of raw materials, inadequate supply of utilities, transport services and high production costs, limited facilities in ports, lack of interest in financing small and medium producers, administrative and regulatory constraints. Hence, relevant authorities should come up with effective measures to tackle the challenges in no time. Also, new and potential markets must be explored for diversification and sustainability of the sector.
The world is facing economic crises due to higher inflation caused by the Ukraine-Russia war coupled with Covid-19. Despite the crisis, developed countries are importing more clothes from Bangladesh than before. Bangladesh now needs to devise measures to develop skilled manpower in RMG sector in order to invite more foreign investments in the coming days. In order to sustain the current tempo of the country’s export growth, our efforts to solve infrastructure, power, and institutional bottlenecks need to be followed through. A comprehensive policy package coupled with supportive governmental incentives will help our export industry grow further. Bangladesh needs to pay more attention to devise an alternative strategy that encourages diversification of exports, both in terms of products and destination.