Bangladesh garment manufacturers seek India's cooperation in apparel sector
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Dhaka: Bangladesh’s apex trade body for garment manufacturers and exporters on Monday sought enhanced cooperation with India for global apparel marketing since their factories largely depend on raw materials from the neighbouring country.

“Bangladesh and India do not compete with each other in the international market for readymade garment (RMG) exports to the global market, rather we complement each other and want to enhance the cooperation for a win-win situation,” Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan said.

We import most raw materials like cotton and petrochemicals from India for apparel production in our factories, he told a press conference, stressing that the trade body was set to stage a mega event next month for branding their products.

BGMEA called the press conference to explain the backdrop of their week-long event from November 12 which it named Made in Bangladesh Week with the theme being “creating impact for caring for fashion to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

According to Hassan, exports from Bangladesh to other countries actually benefitted India as well since most of the inputs for producing apparel were sourced from the neighbouring country.

He said Bangladesh mostly manufactures basic products which do not clash with the apparel offerings from India in the global market.

Hassan said RMG export showed nearly 99 per cent growth in the first two months of the current fiscal in July and August with India being a major importer of Bangladeshi apparel.

The export to India is expected to cross USD 1 billion in the current financial year compared to USD 764 million last year.

BGMEA leaders said they planned the event to celebrate the progress being made in the domestic garment industry and highlight their pursuit of sustainable growth to benefit Bangladesh’s economy, environment and people’s life.

Hassan, however, said despite being relieved largely of the pandemic crisis, Bangladesh’s main export-earning RMG sector was still faced with some challenges with the energy crisis hitting the most.

He, however, added that they expected the steady development of the sector which contributes more than 11 per cent to the country’s GDP.

We hope to achieve the export goal of USD 100 billion by the year 2030, he said.

Asked to predict the prospect of RMG exports after 2026 when Bangladesh graduates from the least developed country status, Hassan said Bangladeshi exporters initiated dialogues with major buyers like the European Union, Australia, United Kingdom and others to continue the preferential treatment for Bangladesh RMG products beyond 2026.

We are also diversifying our export basket into emerging markets… we are working to diversify from natural yarns to synthetic yarns and its product basket from basic 5 RMG products which constitutes 82 per cent of all our exports to more fashion-oriented products, he said.

Bangladesh’s RMG export volume was USD 42.6 billion in the 2021-22 fiscal — 87 per cent of the country’s total exports, with some 10 million families dependent on the sector and 60 per cent of its workforce being women.

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