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Immense untapped potential for Bangladesh sewing thread sector

Sewing sector in Bangladesh is the backbone of the RMG industry. And the sector people are forecasting that within the next 10 years the sewing sector will gain growth of an average 15%.

Bangladesh sewing thread sector
Figure 1: In FY 18-19, local sewing thread factories supplied $29 millions of thread. Making the backward linkage industry more capable and noteworthy.

In 2015, Bangladesh RMG sector exported around US$21 billion, and the sewing sector supplied near about $21 million of thread. In FY 18-19, local sewing thread factories supplied $29 millions of thread. Making the backward linkage industry more capable and noteworthy.

As the apparel export is growing at a healthy stage in parallel with increasing the demand for locally made sewing thread. And can be termed as a vital implicit export sector.

Currently, there are more than 30 sewing thread factories in Bangladesh. Major six factories – three of them are a foreign-local joint investment and the rest three are locally owned company – are supplying 72% of the current demand.

The sector people highlighted that, buyers fix the quality of sewing thread when they place an order. Sometimes, foreign buyers also fix the sewing thread supplier company! And unsurprisingly, foreign companies tend to get a major share of orders.

Sewing sector experts said the demand for the cotton thread is lower than of polyester thread. Local thread producers import the white sewing thread and dye it here, or some like Well Thread produce thread locally.

World’s biggest sewing thread producer, US-based COATS, with A.K. Khan & Co. jointly founded COATS Bangladesh, is the largest shareholder in the sewing producing market, supplying 31% of the market share.

One of a pioneer in sewing thread business in Bangladesh, Well Thread, founded back in 1973. Currently, they have 7% of the Bangladesh sewing market share, making them 4th in the list.

Well, Thread is also one of the largest sewing thread producers in South East Asia, has a versatile product range, making them a dominating sewing entity in the South Asian region.

With its integrated facilities – from spinning, twisting, dying, finishing – all things combined it is one of the largest producers of sewing thread in this region.

Syed Nurul Islam, Chairman of Well Group expressed to Textile Today, on the matter of extreme price competitiveness in the global sewing market, “Challenges will be always there. As CEO of Well Group, from my experience, I should say that manufacturers have to be a lot more hard worker and exceptionally innovative.”

“And yes, we must also have to increase productivity and efficiency. Otherwise, we cannot sustain this business. What I do believe, global competitiveness is very important,” Nurul Islam further added.

Amann Bangladesh – a German-Bangladesh joint investment company – supplies 8% of the local sewing thread demand. Making them 3rd largest supplier in the market.

Global sewing thread market
Figure 2: Global sewing thread market.

Apart from the state-of-the-art factory, AMANN Bangladesh has the most experienced and versatile of professionals from the sewing threads sector of Bangladesh leading the team.

Md. Rokonuzzaman, FCA, Managing Director of AMANN Bangladesh Ltd. said, “Sewing business is mainly operated by back-to-back LC (letter of credit). Where numerous banks and NBR is involved. Making the sewing thread delivery process lengthy, which makes the customers dissatisfied. This is a paramount area where the concerned authorities should look to ease.”

“To make Bangladesh more competitive in the global arena, the government should provide additional and financial benefits to the locally produced raw materials for sewing thread. Then this sector will be more self-dependent,” Rokonuzzaman hoped.

Currently, the global sewing thread market is well fragmented and intensely competitive. But the investment in the sector also increased considering the positive growth or RMG export.

Although the sewing thread growth is good, there is always uncertainty as the demand is constantly fluctuating. To ride on the market wave the sector needs to bring production diversification.

The sector people have voiced that, there is a practice of unhealthy competition regarding prices among the international and local sewing thread producers. Though the locally made thread is cheaper the majority market share is still in the hands of foreign companies.

But why? The sector people highlighted that, buyers fix the quality of sewing thread when they place an order. Sometimes, foreign buyers also fix the sewing thread supplier company! And unsurprisingly, foreign companies tend to get a major share of orders.

However, considering all the factors there is huge untapped potential for Bangladesh sewing thread sector. Global textile and apparel market is observing an unstable situation as the trade war between the US and China is escalating. The US companies are coming more to Bangladesh for business. And China is moving out of the textile business, which is a golden opportunity for Bangladesh.

Considering these factors, the sewing thread sector will expand. And in the new economic zones, most investors are interested in the textiles and apparel sector. Meaning the future of the sewing thread sector bright.

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