RMG exports mark healthy growth in EU20 August 2014 Kazi Zahidul Hasan
The readymade garments industry witnessed a lofty growth in exports in the European Union (EU) during the fiscal year 2013-14 despite a string of deadly industrial accidents and concerns over the rights of workers in the country's garment factories, insiders said.
Apparel exports to the EU grew by 17 per cent to $14.75 billion during the fiscal year 2013-14 over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal (2012-13). Garments export to EU during the fiscal 2012-13 stood at $12.56 billion, according to an official statistics.
"This impressive growth is a clear indication that the industry is poised to emerge as one of the top sourcing destinations in the world," Md Shahidullah Azim, Vice-President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told The New Nation on Tuesday.
He said, the growth was primarily supported by improved financial health of the region that led to a steady flow in export orders during the year.
"The EU retailers expanded orders mainly due to competitiveness and quality of the Bangladesh's apparel items despite series of deadly industrial accidents in the country's garment factories," he added.
Besides, the garments exporters put their best efforts to satisfy their buyers ensuring timely shipment. Quality was also reflected in the export figure.
Currently, the 27-nation European block is providing duty-free access on imports of Bangladeshi apparel in their markets under GSP facility boosting the country's apparel exports to the region.
When asked, the BGMEA leader said, they are relentlessly working to improve conditions in garment factories as industrial incidents have brought widespread international criticism against the industry. "The government has also initiated a massive plan to ensure best compliant standards in the local garments industry," he added.
"We also expect local apparel exports continue to grow at a healthy pace in the current fiscal capitalising dedication of the exporters and the workers of the industry," he said.
The global economy is expected to strengthen further. We, therefore, believe that the country's apparel shipments will be boosted further in key export destinations in the coming years.
In addition to this, the garment exporters are trying to penetrate into the relatively newer markets of Middle East, Russia, Japan, China, Latin America and Africa to enlarge exports of the industry.
Bangladesh earned $24.49 billion from the exports of apparel in the fiscal 2013-14, showing 14 per cent growth over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
The country is now the second largest garments exporter, after China, with about 4,000 active garment factories employing more than 40 lakh people.