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BD becomes 3rd largest denim exporter in US

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Anisul Islam Noor :
The country's apparel sector achieved a remarkable progress overtaking China in denim export in the European Union market in the recent time.
Experts said that, it would give confidence to Bangladesh's apparel sector as it looks to hit $50 billion in exports by 2021.
Bangladesh exported €567.97 million worth of denim products to the 28 nations Europe from January to June period of 2016. It means Bangladesh as lone country secured 21.18 percent market share that is highest of all the denim export countries during the period, BGMEA sources said.
Bangladesh has also become the third largest denim exporter in the United States after China and Mexico in the same time.
It exported $186.30 million worth of denim products to the US, registering a 12.03 percent market share, eclipsed only by China (26.04 percent) and Mexico (25.40 percent).
The headway has been possible because of the millions of dollars that the local denim fabrics makers invested to set up state of the art facilities in their plants. "We could win in the European denim segment not only for the competitive prices, but also for the quality of its products, shorter lead time and better commitment," said MS Hasan, Director of operations of Amber Denim.
For instance, Amber Denim invested heavily to acquire a modern denim laboratory for testing and certification, which helped in reducing the lead time, he said. In terms of denim sales, the US and the UK are two major markets of Bangladesh.
At present, Bangladesh has 30 denim mills for which investment about $1 billion and collective production capacity of the mills is 435 million yards a year, said Mostafiz Uddin, Managing Director of Denim Expert Ltd, a leading denim exporter.
Almost 70 percent of the population in the US wear denim products regularly, according to industry insiders. An average consumer owns seven denim products at any given time, they said.
In the UK, one of the largest clothing markets in Europe, each consumer owns an average of 17 denim garments.
Bangladeshi entrepreneurs supply denim products to major global retailers, including Levi's, Diesel, G-Star RAW, H&M, Uniqlo, Tesco, Wrangler, s.Oliver, Hugo Boss, Walmart, and Gap.
The denim sub-sector could play a significant role in achieving the $50 billion export target by the end of 2021, said Mostafiz Uddin.
Annually 2.1 billion pieces of denim are sold globally, according to Bangladesh Denim Expo, the organizer of the exhibition.
In 2014, the size of the global denim market stood at $56.20 billion, Mostafiz said. By 2020, the global denim market will reach $64.1 billion, while Bangladesh's denim export is forecast to reach $7 billion by the end of 2021.
It is estimated that the global denim market will grow by about eight percent a year until 2020, Mostafiz said citing data from the Cotton Inc USA.

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