Bangladesh has witnessed acceleration in machinery imports as entrepreneurs set up 26 textile mills in spinning, weaving, dyeing and finishing last fiscal year. According to data from Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, last fiscal year, $445.7 million worth of capital machinery was imported by the textile sector.
Capital machinery imports by the primary textile sector increased about 54 percent year-on-year in fiscal 2014-15 on the back of higher demand for raw materials from garment exporters. A BTMA certification is required for importing machinery for the textile sector.
Monsoor Ahmed, secretary to the BTMA said that the owners of many factories have expanded their production capacity as the demand for yarn and fabrics from garment makers is on the rise.
At present, the textile mills meet 90 percent of the requirement for knitwear and 40 percent for woven fabric by garment factories, and in doing so they are helping the country save a substantial amount of foreign currency.
And thanks to sourcing raw materials from the local market, the garment makers can now ship the finished goods within 32-45 days.
If the fabrics are imported from China instead, another 30-40 days are required, according to Abdullah Al Mahmud Mahin, managing director of Hamid Fabrics they can supply the fabrics in two weeks due to their faster production capacity.
Mahin has invested Tk 135 crore to expand their yarn dyeing and weaving operations in Narsingdi as they have a lot of work orders from buyers.
Many other factory owners like Mahin have also installed new machineries within their existing power and gas generation capacities to replace their older ones for higher production in a shorter time.
Moreover with the Bangladeshi garment makers having set a target to export $50 billion worth of apparel products by the end of 2021, the investment in the primary textile sector would have been much higher for increased demand from garment makers had the government agreed to give new gas connections to the factories.
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