Bangladesh garment industry generated $28.09bn exports in the fiscal year 2015-16 which just ended, registering a 10.21% growth from the previous year. The data officially released yesterday showed that the earnings also exceeded the target of $27.37bn set for the year. Of the total figure, the knitwear constituted $13.35bn and woven products $14.74bn, according to Export Promotion Bureau data.
The growth has been attributed by exporters and analysts to political calmness during the year, increased productivity, entrepreneursâ€™ resilience and improvement of workersâ€™ safety standards in factories.
Siddiqur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that even though profit margin declined, the manufacturers didnâ€™t stop taking work orders. He gives credit to manufacturers for seeing an even better export growth in the countryâ€™s garment sector.
He added that the start of manufacturing of high-end products by some entrepreneurs and the increase of workersâ€™ productivity also contributed to achieve healthy export earnings.
Shahidullah Azim, managing director of Classic Fashion, said that value addition of products was a major factor behind the growth while better prices for some products also helped.
Referring to the recent terrorist attacks, he laid stress on improving security so the foreign buyers feel safe while visiting Bangladesh for negotiation. If the security remains lax, buyers will not come, and they will lose work orders.
If all these negative issues are addressed, they will be able to achieve 12% export growth and successfully reach $50bn RMG export target by 2021, Shahidullah Azim said.
Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of Centre for Policy Dialogue, emphasised exploring new markets and diversification of products to maintain growth. He said that buyers confidence was restored after improvement in safety standards of workers in factories.
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