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What possibilities are ahead for Bangladesh RMG sector regarding the USA market?

Textile Today Question of the Month

World economics is shaking due to US-China Trade war. But the analysts are saying a country like Bangladesh which economy is RMG export-based would be benefited from this trade war. Already Bangladesh RMG makers are getting more orders from USA brands and buyers.

Though China is the largest source of apparel products for the USA, however, due to the trade war, US apparel import from China is declining, which is giving a green signal to the Bangladesh apparel exporters.

What possibilities are ahead for Bangladesh RMG sector regarding the USA market? Are we ready to grab this opportunity?

Md. Shafiqul Islam Sarker, Managing Director, Purbani Group

Shafiqul Islam Sarker, Purbani Group

The outcome of the trade war is mixed. On the one hand, there is an increased risk for global customers to source from China. Therefore, there is a shift towards sourcing from other neutral sources such as Vietnam, India and Bangladesh. On the other hand, the trade war is giving fuel to uncertainty and protectionism which is deteriorating to the apparel trade.

Faiaz Rahman, Director, Urmi Group of Companies

Faiaz Rahman Director, Urmi Group

There are immense possibilities for us. As the second-largest apparel exporters, we need to capitalize on the situation to become the global leader in the sector. Though there is a tight competition, Vietnam, being close to China is preferred by brands and is significantly benefiting from the trade war. All said, we need to focus more on managing and producing efficiently to be competitive in the global market.

AKM Saifur Rahman Farhad, Head of Marketing and Merchandising, Interlink Group

Saifur Rahman Forhad, Interlink Group

I don’t think this trade war will significantly help Bangladesh textile and apparel industry. For instance, this war started one and half year back, but till today, our factories are running with order shortfall!

So where are the buyers going? In Cambodia and Vietnam. Because both countries have taken vision 2035, with all the topnotch technology and automation. Whereas, some of the factories can’t even run one shift production. In conclusion, it seems without a proper plan we can’t gain from this trade war.

Uzzal Dakua, Merchandising-Manager, Echotex Ltd

Uzzal Dakua, Echotex Ltd

In this highly competitive global trade scenario, the trade war is not the main fact or focus. We should go for value-added items as per fashion trend. We should explore new market – India, Russia, and China USA, etc. – Our team is for new markets with high value-added product range.

Our denim sector is growing as well, besides knit, we have already invested in denim. So, value-added denim items are highly potential for new markets.

ASM Rifath Haque, Manager Merchandising, Adidas

Rifath Haque, Adidas

Any war leads to loss for both parties, same fate awaits the current trade war between USA and China! From this trade war some countries may get temporary benefits. Bangladesh is one of them, the general perception is some USA oriented new customers are coming here. But in reality I would say, it does not benefit instead, I would call it an opportunity. If we perform better then new buyers and business will come.

So in order to satisfy the USA based customers we have to ensure the right time delivery and quality product.

Also, we should not try to demand excessive price that may instigate US customers to source products from somewhere else.

Dolly Thay, Managing Director, Cloths ‘R’ Us Ltd.

Kyaw Sein Thay Dolly, Cloths R Us Ltd

In this complex situation, where the textile and apparel industry is signaling a negative vibe but in the long run we are optimist about Bangladesh to be benefited from China-USA trade war.

We have already started to observe the shifting of the production business from China to Bangladesh. That includes almost all the categories starting from knit, denim, outerwear and intimate apparels. A tough challenge for Bangladesh is that, it has to compete with countries include logistic lead time beside price which is driven by efficiency. That will suffocate our growth against industry expectation.

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