Despite the immense potential in Bangladesh’s textile and backward linkage industry of readymade garment (RMG) business, new investments are coming poorly due to various hindrances in this capital-intensive industry. While surprisingly, the top 10 textile factories account for 24% of Bangladesh’s RMG business.
According to the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), 12 textile mills have been in the top 10 in the last three years.
President of BTMA, Mohammad Ali Khokon mentioned that it is not positive that one-fourth of the country’s business is owned by ten companies. However, due to various obstacles in this capital-intensive industry, new investments are coming less. But there is a good possibility in woven clothes and denim fabric.
Therefore, it is necessary to implement it with a long-term plan to bring new domestic and foreign investment in the textile sector to increase the export income and value addition of the readymade garment industry.
The total investment in the country’s textile sector is about BDT 70 thousand crores. The BTMA members include 450 spinning, 850 weaving and 170 dyeing and finishing factories. These domestic companies are supplying 80-85 percent of the yarn required for the knit garments industry and 35-40 percent of the fabrics for the woven garments.
Top 10 mills
Badsha Textile started its journey in 2003 by setting up a factory on 100 acres of land in Bhaluka, Mymensingh. Within a decade, Badshah Mia took over the top spot in yarn exports. Last year, Badsha Textiles exported about four and a half crore kg of yarn, valued at US 110.64 million.
Badsha Textile and other top ten companies account for 23.70 percent of the yarn export business. In all, about 57 crore kg of yarn worth Tk 23,639 crore was exported from the country last year. Of these, the top ten companies have exported yarn worth Tk 5,603 crore or $659.02 million.
Badsha Mia, Managing Director of Badsha Textiles, said that they have many factories in yarn production. However, there are opportunities to invest in the production of new yarn, but there are few weaknesses in weaving.
Badsha Textiles has been at the forefront of yarn exports for several years, but unfortunately, its exports have been declining for three consecutive years. In 2018, they exported yarn worth $144.08 million. Over the next two years, the company exported yarn worth $120 million and $116.04 million, respectively.
Square Textile is the second-largest exporter of yarn. Launched in 1997, the company exported 32.3 million kg of yarn worth $97.01 million last year. Square has done better last year than the previous two years. In the previous 2018 and 2019, Square Textile exported yarn worth $59.4 million and $86.5 million, respectively.
3rd place is occupied by MSA Spinning Limited. The company exported 2.56 million crore kg of yarn worth $60.94 million last year. In the previous year, their exports were $60.34 million US$.
Kamal Yarn, another part of the Badsha Group, is also in the top ten. It also ranks fourth in export prices. Last year, their yarn exports amounted to $68.08 million, before they exported about $94.07 million in 2019 and $84.07 million in 2018.
AA Quars Span was ranked in the top ten two years ago. Last year, they came in 5th with $66.07 million worth of yarn exports.
Pahartali Textile and Hosiery Mills is ranked sixth with export of $59 million. MSA Textiles is in 7th place with exports of $49.04 million. Besides, the 8th-ranked Maksons Spinning Mills exported $48.05 million, the 9th-ranked NRG Spinning Mills exported $46.07 million and the 10th-ranked Pakiza Cotton Spinning Mills 44.07 million dollars.
Challenges and long-term future plan
Thinking of the top industries, Badsha Mia, Managing Director of Badsha Textiles said, “Bangladesh has a lot of factories in yarn production. However, there are opportunities to invest in the production of new yarn. On the other hand, the BD RMG sector has weaknesses. That’s why we have to import a lot of woven clothes.”
“Long-term planning is needed in Bangladesh’s RMG sector. Our neighbor and rival India plans to set up seven large textile parks across the country in three years to strengthen its exports of RMG and textiles. Each textile village will be set up on more than 1,000 acres of land with world-class infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has no long-term plan yet. A garment village is being set up on 500 acres of land at Bangabandhu Industrial City in Mirsarai, Chattogram. However, initially, only 37 institutions are going there. Apart from this, investment is being made in setting up only 5-7 factories in the textile sector.
In this regard, Mohammad Ali said, “Our textile ministry is being run like a government corporation.”
Khokon added, “It seems that there is no work other than visiting the government mills. In India, the Secretary of the Ministry of Textiles has held the same post for 30 years but the secretary of our country retired or went to another ministry as soon as he understood the textile sector. The Ministry of Textiles needs to be given special responsibility for the development of the textile sector.”
Referring to the data of 600 crore meters of cloth import per year, the BTMA President further said that gas is one of the raw materials after cotton in the textile mills. Currently, those who have gas lines are getting gas for factory expansion. Whereas, gas line is not given to new factories.
As a result, if the long-term plan for the textile sector is worked out, the textile sector will be stronger. It will also increase the export-oriented RMG business, he opined.