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Entrepreneurs see apparel work order rise

Bangladesh’s garment exporters have recently started to witness an improvement in the order situation after three consecutive months of declining readymade garments (RMG) orders. A bit late, after the winter season, spring season clothing order inquiries have started pouring in. It is believed that since top exporter China is yet to fully emerge from the Covid-induced lockdown, the trend of buyers shifting orders has been positive for Bangladesh. Entrepreneurs see the order inquiry as a light of hope in a time of global economic slowdown.Bangladesh-garment-order-scenario-2023

However, even if the number of orders increases, the buyers want to pay less. Bangladesh produces a relatively high rate of basic garments, which demand more than other value-added garments, entrepreneurs say.

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) related sources said that in the first 20 days of the current month of November, garment exports have increased by about 6 percent compared to the same period of the last financial year. Garment exports in October were down 19 percent from the same period last fiscal.

Shahidullah Azim, vice president of BGMEA, said, “We expect that garment exports can be positive at the end of the month.”

Entrepreneurs said inquiries for orders have increased compared to the last two-three months. The RMG exporters also said that buyers have also started taking previously ordered products which were held or asked not to be shipped.


SM Khaled, Managing Director, Snowtex Group said, “Snowtex is continuing production with 90 percent booking in the current month but the factory is able to accomplish 95 percent works of its capacity in the month of December.”

“I have already had 100 percent orders since January. After the end of the upcoming Christmas, most of the apparel manufacturers will receive hundred percent booking,” he added.

Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu, Managing Director of Rising Group said to media, they expect to receive new orders from next month.

Sector leaders said that most of the retailers and brands started to place orders and woven makers started to receive 100% of bookings from January. After winter and Christmas sales buyers will come with a large volume of work orders.

Md Ashikur Rahman Tuhin, Managing Director, TAD Group told to media, “TAD Group has been facing order shortage in the last two three months due to the global high inflation. But the situation is shifting.”

The major clothing markets mainly buy products based on the four seasons. One of the biggest season export of winter products is nearing its end. Spring season orders are coming now. These products are expected to be exported between January and March.

As per the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, in FY22, Bangladesh earned $42.61 billion through apparel export with 35.47% growth.

The upward trend was sustained till August of this year but in September the RMG sector observed a 7.52 percent adverse earnings year-on-year and achieved 3.27 percent growth in October.

Economist and Executive Director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) Ahsan H. Mansoor said to media, “The worldwide economy is still in a dip. But entrepreneurs can say better. And the data is also showing a positive trend.”

SM Khaled of Snowtex said to media, “We are conceding with a profit margin as it is time to appeal to consumers and buyers and this is why we are doing it.”

Although the world economy is bad, the main reason behind the coming of good orders in Bangladesh is the withdrawal of buyers from China. He said, ‘There was a lockdown in Beijing due to Covid. There are also global political tensions. Due to these reasons, buyers are shifting from there due to uncertainty, which Bangladesh is getting a good part of it.’

Since the beginning of this year, after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, Bangladesh’s garment exports suffered as the world economy continued to stagnate. With this, gas and electricity crisis started in the country the order started decreasing.

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