Although Bangladesh manufacture and exports readymade garments (RMG) for 40 years, but the industry is much focused on cotton-based products. It is understood that RMG product diversification took place at the minimum level.
Recently Bangladesh’s epic apparel trade body, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan opened up on this issue.
According to the FY 2018-19 apparel export data, about 74.14% of exports were cotton-made products. Which was 79% ten years ago in FY 2008-09, meaning that the dependence on cotton-based apparel has increased in the last ten years, Hassan said.
He emphasized that in 2018, Bangladesh imported 20,52,000 tons of fiber, of which 93.56% was cotton.
Faruque said, non-cotton accounts for about 65% of the global textile consumption, of which 74% is synthetic (man-made fiber – MMF). The MMF section is growing at an annual rate of 3%-4% as a substitute for cotton amid changes in global fashion trends.
Globally, MMF-based apparel trade volume stood US$150 billion in 2017. And Bangladesh’s market share was only 5% against its rival Vietnam’s share of 10%.
One of the main reasons that Bangladesh’s competing countries have petrochemical chips as the raw material and they flourished in the MMF segment.
Meaning Bangladesh has immense potential by seizing the rising global market of MMF textiles.
Hassan said Bangladesh could add at least US$ 2 billion in its export earnings yearly by grabbing the growing global market of MMF textiles.
Adding that the govt. must come up and give 10% incentive for the sector. And such efforts will help create employment and boost investment in the sector contributing to the overall economy of the country.
10% incentive will inspire more investment and exports.
Faruque said the sector has not seen much investment in the last couple of years which is required for diversification and employment generation. On top of it, the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled the sector’s progress at a vital moment.