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Bangladesh returns to second position in RMG exports in 2021

After losing its second position as the second-largest apparel exporter in the global market to Vietnam in 2020, Bangladesh regained it in 2021 with export earnings of $35.81.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, Bangladesh earned $35.81 billion in 2021, while Vietnam earned $32.75 billion in the same period as per the data of the General Statistics Office.

In 2020, Bangladesh lost its second position as apparel exporter to Vietnam, when it earned $27.47 billion against $29.80 billion.

Bangladesh-Vietnam-garment-export-earning-2021

Bangladesh reclaimed its post-strong recovery as the export earnings grew by 30.36% to $35.81 billion, while Vietnam’s exports rose by 9.89 percent to $32.75 billion against $29.80 billion in 2020.

Knitwear products contributed a lot to the total apparel exports earnings. Knitwear exports rose by 37.72 percent to $19.59 billion compared to $14.22 billion. Woven products fetched $16.21 billion, up by 22.46 percent, which was $13.24 billion in the same period a year ago.

Talking to Textile Today, exports and industry people said Bangladesh performed better in exports as the manufacturers were able to keep their factories running in 2021. In 2020 the factory owners had to keep the factories shut for several weeks due to lockdown.

On the other hand, a good number of buyers relocated work orders from China.

“It was a temporary change in ranking in the global apparel export market as the COVID-19 pandemic hit our production badly, which negatively impacted our exports,” Abdus Salam Murshedy, Managing Director of Envoy Textile told the Textile Today.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, government-enforced lockdown and factories’ production were hampered. As a result, our exports declined sharply. Though, later it recovered but could reach the pre-pandemic level, said Salam, also a former President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

On the other hand, Vietnam factories were functional as the Covid-19 infection rate was very slow than in Bangladesh. As a result, Vietnam earned more. But in 2021 we were flooded with work orders and earned better reclaiming our position, he added.

Knitwear products contributed a lot to the total apparel exports earnings. Knitwear exports rose by 37.72 percent to $19.59 billion compared to $14.22 billion. Woven products fetched $16.21 billion, up by 22.46 percent, which was $13.24 billion in the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, BGMEA president Faruque Hassan also credited the resilient entrepreneurs and workers for the sharp growth, which helped to reclaim the second position from Vietnam.

“Taking risks our entrepreneurs kept factories operational and workers participated in the factory following the health guideline. Exporters even took worker orders at lower prices and shipped goods in time,” said Hassan.

On the other hand, we have upgraded our technology and product quality as well as capacity. That is why buyers placed more orders and we gained from that, said Hassan, also Managing Director of Giant Group.

In addition, due to our commitment and capacity to execute bulk work orders, a good number of buyers relocated purchase destinations here amid the pandemic, said the business leader.

“As we have enough work orders and buyers have confidence in us, we are very hopeful to retain the second position and to widen the gap with Vietnam,” Shahidullah Azim, BGMEA vice president told the Textile Today.

As there is new investment and capacity is increasing, I am confident in the next five years Bangladesh’s apparel industry will reach a new height, he adds.

Apparel makers recorded more than a 20 percent rise in export orders in 2021 when compared year-on-year.

In retaining our position, we have to first attract Chinese investment as well as buyers who are relocating their purchasing destination. Normally, Chinese investors prefer Vietnam and Myanmar for investment as there is a similarity in culture, he explained.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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