Bangladesh has exported personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, medical gowns, gloves of $11.58 million during the July-May period of the current fiscal year, which created new opportunities for exports.
However, the figure would be higher in June as a good quantity of PPE was shipped in June, which is yet to include in data.
As per the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), there are 33 companies who are making and preparing to export PPE to meet global demands.
The largest shipment was done by Beximco Group, a leading textile and apparel goods exporter, which has exported 6.5 million PPE gowns to US brand Hanes.
“As the global spread of Covid-19 has bloomed into a pandemic, it has become clear that there will be a desperate need of PPE to keep medical professionals and the general public safe. Beximco has proudly joined the fight against the global pandemic by moving swiftly to add manufacturing capabilities in PPE items such as gowns, masks, and coveralls,” said Beximco CEO and Group Director, Syed Naved Husain.
He said Covid-19 had changed how the world works, and Beximco had to urgently respond. “In just two months, we have unleashed our world-class manufacturing, technical, and design talent to switch over and start making PPE help increase the supply of PPE which is urgently needed in Bangladesh and worldwide,” he stated.
He continued, “Bangladesh is well-positioned to become a new hub for PPE manufacturing.
Demands for face masks and gloves are on rising and export prospects are very bright.
“There are huge prospects of PPE and products and the query from the global buyers is increasing gradually. We have supplied face mask worth $2.6 million to a France buyer,” S.M Khaled, Managing Director of Snowtex told Textile Today.
On the other hand, working on producing one lakh pieces of PPE for Marks and Spencer (M&S), which they are providing to several organizations as part of their social activities here, said Khaled.
New orders of medical textile is an opportunity for those manufacturers who were facing trouble due to a shortage of work orders to run the factory, he added.
These products will help Bangladesh to diversify products.
“Since we are mostly dependent on few items and basic goods, going on massive products will help to diversify goods,” Centre for Policy Dialogue research director Khondaker Golam Moaqzzem told Textile Today.
Though the demands will depend on the COVID-19 situation apparently, the demands of PPE including protective masks, gloves, clothing gowns for doctors and nurses, goggles, and other garments will always remain for medical use, he explained.
He urged the government and the sector people to come up with initiatives to develop technical expertise as well as special attention on new areas of exploration.