Recently Mackenzie and Company’s report ‘Is apparel manufacturing coming home?’ said that within the next 10 years, major brands and buyers from Europe and the United States can shorten their import of ready-made garments from countries like China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. Though we are observing a reverse reality as the apparel export from Bangladesh is increasing significantly, this rise was also a prediction of Textile Today. According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), in July-October period of the current fiscal year, export earnings from the apparel sector jump by 20.08% to $11.33 billion, which was $9.43 billion in the same period last year.
What do you think about the report? Will the US and European buyers reduce their sourcing from Bangladesh? How will be the global apparel-sourcing pattern in the future?
Ahsan Mahmood, Country Manager, Gina Tricot
If we compare the present situation with the previous 10 years there are essential changes ensued in each area of our RMG sectors.
Communications, sourcing, perfection of industrial units, excellence of merchandise, and TNA to ensure quality goods on time, all areas are now educated and these are the facts that attract our retailers to come and place orders and one of the significant and most important point is, we have not yet sped up our port and other areas to make sure faster logistic care. Now it’s time to go ahead, finding ways on how to shorter lead-time, fast negotiation, different product category to take the challenge of the value-added product. If we can ensure horizontal backing and steady political condition, then the country has a huge opportunity at present and in the future.
Mir Md. Mustafa Kamal, DGM, HOORAIN HTF LTD
The Mackenzie reports have a little distinction from reality as the market intelligence says a different story. Global brands are recreating and reshuffling their sourcing strategies and focusing on Bangladesh and South Asian countries due to low cost and more efficient options and leaving China which has lots of reasons including global political issues. Besides Brands are patronizing opportunities in African regions which is a matter of least 20-25 years to get proper feedback. China is closing their vertical setups as well as American policy is also degenerating their apparel manufacturers and supplies due to negative business aspects and foreign policy issues with the USA.
Therefore, the only alternative cheaper option is Bangladesh as the first home for apparel and textile solutions although we have revised our worker wages yet it is still far behind from Vietnam or India. Market line and WTO reports say within next 10 years business will grow here in South Asian continent around 20-30% up from current status to ensure the Global demands.
Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director, CPD
The Mackenzie Company’s report is not good for us. As the second largest exporter, our growth is upward. Mainly there are two challenges, one is shorter lead-time and another is an online sale. As it is the era of fast fashion, so, buyers always want short lead time, low price and the right quality. After wages, buyers are not ready yet to give more price. Now we should go for a new market, diversify our products and open online market. China should be our new market, also many Chinese investors are coming to Bangladesh and investing in various economic zones. Bangladesh needs to focus on improving productivity. We should increase our capacity in terms of quality and right time delivery for sustainable business.
Mohammad Nasir, Vice President (Finance), BGMEA
I think this report is partially correct. As the second largest exporter our export is growing. Many EU and US buyers visit our factories and give order. Our industry is now the safest in the world, and most of the green factories are now in Bangladesh. Our order is growing in terms of volume but the price hasn’t gone up. Our main challenges are gas, power, and infrastructure. Now buyer’s want better product worth’s with shortening lead time. We are going to new markets and branding our apparel industry. Besides, as the market is competitive we should improve our skills and invest more in modern technologies for a sustainable business.
Mr. Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, 2nd Vice President, BKMEA
The Mackenzie Company’s report is mostly correct. Bangladesh’s RMG industry has taken some massive initiatives to improve the overall compliance and safety issues after the Rana Plaza. Firstly, buyers come to Bangladesh due to lower price and better quality. In terms of volume, our order volume is increasing but buyer’s do not give us better prices. We need to respond to the changing of global trade dynamics with improved production capacity by raising the backward-linkage industry, modern technology, skilled labor force, and market diversifications.
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