Bangladesh’s apparel exports to the USA, the single largest export destination for the country’s clothing goods, have posted a 14.60% in the last fiscal year, thanks to US-China trade war.
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, in the fiscal year 2018-19, Bangladesh earned $6.13 billion, up by 14.60%, exporting apparel goods, which was $5.35 billion in the previous year.
Of the total amount, woven products earned $4.62 billion, which was $3.98 billion in the previous fiscal year. On the other hand, knitwear goods fetched $1.51 billion, which was $1.37 billion a year ago.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s overall exports to the US market rose by 14.92% to $6.88 billion, which was $5.98 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Talking to the Textile Today, exporters attributed the ongoing trade war between the US and China, two economic giants, which helped Bangladesh to avail more export orders from China.
“It is the spillover effect of a trade war between US and China, which prompted the global apparel retailers and brands to purchase more from Bangladesh as the production cost went up due to higher tariff rate,” Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Research Director, Khondaker Golam Moazzem told Textile Today.
However, Vietnam has taken the most gain from the trade conflict, where Bangladesh cannot take full advantage of the situation due to lack of diversified products, said the economist.
In reaping benefits, Bangladesh has to move towards product diversification and develop infrastructure to attract investment relocating from China, said Moazzem.
“As of now, we are getting a better response from US buyers, which is reflected in the export earnings of the last fiscal year. This is because of US-China trade conflict,” Mohammad Hatem former Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) told the Textile Today.
In addition, a safety inspection by Alliance, a platform of North American buyers to improve workplace safety made significant progress, which boosted buyers’ confidence to place more orders here, said Hatem.
On top of that, exporters urged the government to provide policy support in attracting Chinese investments and to grab more market share.
“To reap the benefits to its fullest from the trade tension, the Bangladesh government has given support and search opportunity and take necessary steps in materializing dreams,” Exporters’ Association of Bangladesh (EAB) President Abdus Salam Murshedy told the Textile Today.
He also called for incentivizing foreign investors to attract investment and buyer attention.
In addition, the government should start bilateral negotiations with the US government to increase our trade and sought further duty-free market access, he said.