Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) exports to the United States grew by 15.38% during January to May of this calendar year, registering a double-digit growth both in terms of value and volume compared to the same period of last year.
According to the figures available with the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), an affiliate of the US Department of Commerce, Bangladesh earned $2.24 billion during the corresponding period of 2020. While in the first five months of the 2021 calendar year, the country exported 1.02 billion square meters of apparel items, up from 807.67 million square meters or 27.30 percent.
According to the OTEXA data, RMG exports to the US stood at $5.22 billion in 2020, down from $5.92 billion in 2019.
The OTEXA data also revealed that during the period the total apparel imports of the USA from across the world also increased by 22.19 percent to US$ 29.21 billion from $23.91 billion during the same period in 2020.
China witnessed a 26.17 percent growth to US$ 5.82 billion during the period, which was $4.61 billion during the corresponding period of last calendar year.
While Vietnam and Cambodia also witnessed a growth of 19.48 percent and 15.35 percent to $5.74 billion and $ 1.24 billion respectively year-on-year during the period.
Also, India, Mexico, and Pakistan apparel export to the US grew by over 21% to 58% except for Indonesia that was maintaining a negative growth of 1.75 percent.
RMG industry insiders expressed their relief as Bangladesh’s single largest export destination returning to its pre-COVID level. Thanks to good vaccination, and a shift of orders from China, Myanmar and other factors.
When asked, Md Shahidullah Azim, Vice President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said to a leading daily that the US economy is slowly recovering from the adverse impact of COVID-19 with the rise in consumer spending.
Besides, the US buyers have shifted some of their orders from China to Bangladesh while exports from India to the US suffered due to the deteriorating COVID-19 situation, Azim added.
Shahidullah Azim, however, hoped that local RMG exports to the USA will increase further with the return of one of its big companies – Walt Disney – to Bangladesh.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan welcomed the timely and welcoming move by Walt Disney in recognition of the all-out progress and transformation in the industry, particularly in the area of workplace safety, social standards, and environmental sustainability.