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Apparel export booms in new markets

Bangladesh Readymade Garments (RMG) export to non-traditional markets witnessed 24.17% growth in July-October FY 2022-23 period. And earned $2.45 billion in the period, the EPB released the data showed. The data also showed that all the major apparel export destinations have witnessed significant growth.

Bangladesh-apparel-export-non-traditional-market-July-October-FY 2022-23
Figure: Bangladesh RMG export to non-traditional market scenario in July-October FY 2022-23 period.

Of the total amount, woven products earned $1.15 billion, which was 29.90% higher than $0.89 billion in the July-October FY2021-22. On the other hand, knitwear goods fetched $1.29 billion, up by 19.45% from $1.08 billion in the same period the previous year.

Global hyperinflation has hit all markets. There are also fears of a looming global recession. As a result, the rate of new purchase orders is also quite low. As a result, there is considerable apprehension about whether there will be good growth in garment exports to new markets at the end of the year. Despite all these negative global scenarios – Bangladesh’s RMG export has done remarkably well. Apparel export to traditional and non-traditional export destinations alike has witnessed good growth.

Top performers in the non-traditional markets

As per the data, among the major non-traditional export destinations – Japan came out as the top performer with $453.91 million earnings in the July-October FY 2022-23. While the apparel export growth to Japan rose to 26.03%.

Bangladesh-non-traditional-markets-July-October-FY22-23

Another significant market for Bangladesh RMG – the Indian market has continued to shine. In the first three months of FY 2022-23, apparel export to India earned $397.16 million. The neighboring market saw a staggering 55.87% growth.

Garment export to another leading non-traditional market – the Australian market earned $294.93 million in the period. Observing a lean growth of 8.84%.

In the July-October FY2021-22 period, apparel export to South Korea reached $163.76 million and saw a 40.53% growth.

Apparel export earnings to Mexico reached $116.14 million and observed a 46.82% growth.

Russia’s market is still reeling from the ongoing crisis. Thus, apparel export growth to the country saw a 51.14% negative growth. And earned $90.23 million.

The data also showed that in other non-traditional countries RMG export reached $391.53 million. Recording a 50.85% growth in the first three months of FY 2022-23.

Apparel industry leaders feel that new destinations are needed to make Bangladesh’s garment sector sustainable. Entrepreneurs feel that fashion buyers have increased confidence in Bangladesh due to quality products and timely delivery. Experts say that several initiatives are needed to fully utilize the potential of the markets.

Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA said, “The growth in non-traditional markets we have achieved so far is the outcome of the spirit we have shown in all the crises and the commitment. In the last few years, we made huge progress in the areas of responsible and sustainable manufacturing which has earned confidence on us. However, we need to look beyond the conventional pattern of business and growth, and prioritize investments in technologies, modernization, skills, efficiency, and diversification in the product range, which will add more value to our business and competitiveness.”

“BGMEA is working to facilitate exploration of new markets and to retain preferential market access. Thanks to the Government for the extraordinary support to explore non-traditional markets, which came at the persuasion of BGMEA. This has helped grow our export to non-traditional markets from less than a billion dollars to 5 billion dollars in the last 12 years.”

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