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RMG sector’s contribution to GDP downs by 3%

RMG sector, the heart of our economy, plays a key role in the development of our country. This sector is one of the biggest contributors to our gross domestic product (GDP). But the recent figures for this contribution are really shocking. RMG sector’s contribution to our GDP has been declining for the last consecutive five years.

RMG contribution to GDP
Figure: RMG sector’s contribution to GDP from FY 14 to 18.

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the RMG sector’s contribution to GDP was 11.17% in the fiscal year of 2017-18. But not long before in the fiscal year of 2013-14, the sector contributed 14.17% IN GDP which indicates a decrease by 3%.

In FY2018, Bangladesh’s total GDP was TK22,504,793 million where RMG sector’s contribution was TK2,513,471 million. Although the overall GDP has increased by 7.86% where the service sector contributed the highest to GDP which was 52.11%. RMG sector’s sector contribution isn’t increasing comparing to the last few years.

According to business experts, lack of diversified products and sluggish private investments are the root causes of this negative trend in the apparel sector. Export earnings from the textile sector is mainly dependent on four to five basic products such as T-shirts, sweaters and other knit products.

According to business experts, lack of diversified products and sluggish private investments are the root causes of this negative trend in the apparel sector. Export earnings from the textile sector is mainly dependent on four to five basic products such as T-shirts, sweaters and other knit products.

With the pace of time and in the initial stage of the industrial revolution, every industrial sector of the world are updating and producing varieties of hi-tech products. But the RMG sector of our country is still working in an old-fashioned way and the sad news is that no one is not paying enough attention to solving this problem.

The downward figure of GDP contribution is alarming news for our economy because this sector contributes 83% of overall export earnings for Bangladesh. In the last few years, new and innovative investments didn’t take place much in apparel sector as the industrialists had to spend a lot of money to improve safety and environmental standards prescribed by the Accord and Alliance.

On the other hand, global brands and buyers cutting prices continuously causing a drastic decrease in the profit margin.

To solve this problem, experts are strongly suggesting to focus on manufacturing value-added products and new foreign investments. Bangladesh won’t be able to stay long as a strong competitor in the global market because of its low-cost labor advantage.

Manufacturers need to invest more in research and development and on creating technical textiles. The government should come forward to solve some burning issues like port congestion, infrastructure improvement, etc. to reduce the lead time.

Overall, we need to focus more on quality rather than quantity. If any kind of calamity takes place in the textile sector, the whole economy of our country would be affected. So, for the greater purpose of saving our country, we should come forward to solve all the challenges that the RMG sector is facing currently.

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