Bangladesh textile industry is moving forward with strong gravity. 2019 will be very prospective as well as challenging according to industry experts, owners, and policymakers. Achieving the US$ 50 billion target in 2021 may not be possible though in 2018 export growth was average at 15%. LNG addition in national grid restored the confidence of millers. Similarly, the port problem, other utility problems, ever-increasing sourcing cost, and rising raw cotton prices etc. and most importantly implanting of new wage board challenges kept the industry unstable in 2018.
Amid of these, experts and millers are hoping best in 2019 and they are expecting more from the newly formed government. They expect that the government would take indispensable measures to ensure good governance, abolish corruption and improve the ease of doing business. During DTG fair (9-12 January 2019) Textile Today Team conducted a survey, let’s hear what people are expecting from 2019…
I would say 2018 was a very successful year for us. We have done very well especially in workplace safety measures. 2019 will be very challenging because we have to carry on what we have started in the last few years and link them with our goal of achieving USD 50 bn. In the meantime, we have to focus more on R&D. An additional thing is we should work on how to enhance the negotiation skill. Simultaneously we have to grab the market share left by China and that is why technology and human capital transformation is a must!
Our government has targeted $50 billion in 2021, but it is not on the horizon yet, as we have achieved $32 billion in the last year. Now we have the expectation to achieve 35 billion in 2019. For this, if the government does something good in infrastructural development and utility services like gas, electricity supply, we hope to get good results.
Bangladesh is going to be a sourcing hub for China as one of the biggest Chinese company has started sourcing from the country. 2019 will be a very challenging year for the Bangladesh textile industry. We all know that this year RMG worker’s wage has been increased by about 51%. To accommodate with this excess wage is very tough for the industry. However, this wage is very much needed for the workers. Truly, it is very challenging to make balance from both sides but it is possible if all the stakeholders remain supportive here. At the same time, more value-added product making can take Bangladesh a long way.
This year, we think our textile and apparel industry is now more matured than ever. Because of the stable political situation, approximately US$ 1 billion investment was made in the textile industry in the last five years. If the government support us with gas and power supply, our industry will increase significantly in the coming days. We have been organizing DTG fair for almost 16 years aiming to promote the textile and garments industry and to equip ourselves with the latest technology. Participation of machinery companies and visitors indicates the growing trend of the Bangladesh textile industry.
The beginning of 2019 was a turmoil for the spinning sector. Because of the fear of turbulence in the national election, the price of yarn has declined. We are eager that yarn price will increase as well as cotton price will stabilize in the end of January. In 2019, I hope that the textile market will be more stable. We are expecting increased investment. Eventually export of RMG from Bangladesh will increase.
Globally Bangladesh has a very strong position for knitting garments production. The influx of new investors is still coming to this sector. There are many problems we frequently face with banks, if the government gives good support and make strong policy regarding this then the textile industry will do better. We need to develop our woven sector also. Currently, many factories are waiting for a gas connection. The energy crisis is also a big problem for us and coal could be a good option but unfortunately, we do not have a good policy for coal. If these problems are solved immediately then 2019 will be a very successful year.
Bangladesh is currently facing several challenges and the biggest challenge of 2019 is the price falling of RMG products. The price of cloths has been decreased though the cost of making clothes has been amplified. In this situation, we need the support of government to overcome compliance issue and the pressure of buyers whereas our rival countries do not face these pressure.