The Bangladeshi apparel exporters are also facing arduous conditions, especially in respect of compliances of work-place safety and labour rights, both from their traditional exporting destinations the EU and the US. The apparel makers need to adopt market diversification move without compromising the existing safety-compliance issues for the sake of greater sustainability of the industry.
In fact, the country's readymade garment (RMG) exporters have no other alternative but to diversify their markets in order to reduce dependency on limited markets.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to explore new markets are planning to organize single-country fairs both in and outside Dhaka and build up networking like exchange of business tours, sector leaders said.
The BGMEA will be organixing single country fair for Indian and Chinese apparel buyers, buying house and trade body representatives and other related traders in April and June. They are also planning to hold such expo for South Korea, South Africa, Russia and Mexico this year while the BKMEA will hold fair focusing the Latin America, Brazil and Chile markets by 2014.
The expo will be a platform to display their products and services to attract the Indian and Chinese buyers and their representatives about latest excellence of craftsmanship for further business development.
According to BGMEA vice president Reaz-Bin-Mahmood diversification of markets is important to do business all the year round and also to reduce dependency from the traditional markets like the EU and the US. . If these factories can build up business with the markets outside the EU and the US, they can use their full capacity and run production smoothly instead of sitting idle or have less or even no order for two to three months of a year due to season.
If there are alternative markets like India, China and other South African and Latin American countries, they can easily negotiate for fair price of their products which at this moment they are unable to do so.
The apparel export growth is gradually increasing in these markets reflecting a good demand for Bangladesh-made apparel products.
Diversification of markets and products is also important to reduce different business risks that emerge due to recession and one-after-another industrial tragedies that have seriously highlighted the safety issues in the garment sector.
However, Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue suggested a strategic approach for diversification of products and markets. The new markets should be explored besides the traditional ones as they are not ready for Bangladesh. Both private and public efforts like enhance networking and creation of duty-free access or preferential access are needed for grabbing the markets.
As for the safety issues, its resolution will bring good results in the long run. It is vital especially for attracting orders for mid and high-end products which have just started coming instead of the owners taking safety issues as a burden
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