BD be able to target $100b RMG exports in 10 years
Bangladesh would be able to set an export target of $100 billion in the next 10 years, riding on the improvement of the apparel production facility and compliance standard, international clothing retailers and brands said.
Their representatives made the observation on the sideline of Sustainable Apparel Forum 2022 held in Dhaka on Tuesday, reports RMG Bangladesh.
They held the view that Bangladesh will remain the favourable sourcing destination for apparel items in future as the sector's people are able to produce almost all items as per buyers' requirements.
"The industry has become more mature over the last 40 years and now it has a unique entrepreneurship," said Ziaur Rahman, head of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Ethiopia Region for the Swedish retail giant H&M. The Buyer is ready to invest further here as per their requirements, he added.
Bangladesh has a good number of green factories and the country is on the right direction in terms of workplace safety, compliance and product diversification, Rahman noted adding "If the government now sets a target to export $100 billion garment in the next 10 years, it would be possible."
The regional manager of H&M, the largest apparel buyer in Bangladesh, said Bangladesh is the most important sourcing destination for his company."This [Bangladesh] is our very important market. We will stay here," said Rahman, adding his company has been sourcing apparels now from 300 Bangladeshi garment factories.
He also said this year their sourcing value would be about 11 percent of Bangladesh's total export value. "We cannot even think of sourcing apparel items without Bangladesh." He said Bangladesh needs more investment in innovation, circular fashion and product diversification and human development.
Echoing Rahman, Dutch fashion brand G-Star RAW's Regional Operations Manager Shafiur Rahman said his company annually sources garment items worth $70 million which would reach $90 million by the next three years - 30 percent growth.
Of the products, the brand used to source about 75 percent of knitwear items but recently the company diversified the sourcing to denim, woven and outerwear products. As a high-value products buying company, it sources 1 million denim items from Bangladesh annually worth about $20 million, he added.
Alice Tonello, director of R&D Tonello, an Italian garment machinery manufacturing and supplying company, said her company has been supplying machinery to Bangladesh over the past 28 years.
"Bangladesh is the largest market for us. So far, her company supplied 1,500 textile, garment and washing machines to Bangladeshi garment factories, where global sales were 9,000 units.
Yilmaz Demir, regional sales manager of Asia at the Turkish company Bossa, said his company sells about 1 million yards of denim fabrics worth £5 million in Bangladesh in a year. The company is supplying denim fabrics over the last 16 years.
He said the prices of raw materials have increased a lot after the Covid pandemic. But Bangladesh is the best." But changes in the Generalised System of Preferences may be an issue for Bangladesh in future, he added.
Naveena Export Ltd, a Pakistani denim fabrics manufacturer, said his company has big confidence in Bangladesh and it ships 5 lakh metres of denim fabrics worth $1.7 million to Bangladesh a month.
The company is supplying denim fabrics to Bangladeshi partners over the last 15 years. This is a very strong market, company official said.
"But challenges remain. Garment workers in Bangladesh are affected by the way sourcing takes place. And given the scale of the industry in Bangladesh, there is plenty of work to be done in decreasing the sector's environmental impact," he also said.