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Spectacular growth in RMG exports to India

Published : 13 Jan 2023 11:40 PM | Updated : 14 Jan 2023 03:41 PM

Bangladesh’s readymade garments exports to India increased by about 50.31 percent to reach about $550 million during July-December in the current fiscal year.

At the same time of the previous fiscal, exporters of Bangladesh exported $365.90 million to the neighboring country.

Experts said the export earnings to India are increasing due to geographical reasons with a lower cost of production.

Besides, these earnings have increased rapidly as the country is now producing quality products, they said, expecting that it will continue to grow in the coming days.

If this positive trend continues, Bangladesh’s exports to the Indian market will surpass $3 billion for the first time by the end of the current fiscal year, they mentioned.

Ever since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in September last year, there has been a surge in exports of Bangladesh’s main export product, manufactured garments. 

Government policymakers, economists and business leaders hope that this positive trend of garment exports to India, the world’s second most populous country, will continue in the coming days.

Economists said if Bangladesh can capture the Indian market well, the country of about one and a half billion people, Bangladesh will move forward.

According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, Bangladesh's exports to India increased by about 4.17 percent to $1.14 billion in the first six months in the current fiscal year over that in the same period of the previous fiscal.

Among the total amount, the export of ready-made garments was worth $550 million, almost half of the total export. 

The rest is in different sectors including jute and jute products, plastic products and leather and leather products.

However, the country’s exports to India hit record high in the last fiscal year to reach about $2 billion, up 55.62 percent more than the previous fiscal year.

In the fiscal year 2021-2022, India imported goods worth $1.99 billion from Bangladesh. Out of this, $715.41 million came from garment exports. 

According to the latest data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), India, as a single country, is now the seventh-largest export market in Bangladesh. In other words, India is now one of the top 10 markets for Bangladesh's export earnings.

Even in the fiscal year 2020-21, India did not have a place in the list of top 10 export markets of Bangladesh. During that time, India was ranked 14th-15th.

The United States, as always, is on top and Germany is in second place. It was followed by the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Poland respectively.

Faruque Hassan, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said, “It is true that in November and December more than expected export income came to the country. The income that has come in these two months is from the previous order. But now the order has decreased a lot. There is no possibility of increasing the order in the coming days.”

He said the data of EPB shows that there is a positive growth in the export of ready-made garments in major countries, but the growth has decreased compared to the previous months. 

This indicates that the growth may slow further in the coming days, he said, adding that there may even be negative growth in some markets, but we can see a rapid garment exports to India, a neighboring country. If we can sustain this growth, it will be very good for the garment industry, he mentioned.

Mohiuddin Rubel, Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said, “The value of garments made in Bangladesh is increasing in India. Bangladesh's exports to India are increasing due to geographical reasons. It seems to me that from now on it will continue to grow.”

India has to buy clothes from Bangladesh to meet the demand of about 1.5 billion people, he said, adding that the cost of making garments in India is much higher than that imported from Bangladesh. That is why they are now buying more and more clothes from Bangladesh, he mentioned.

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