Bangladesh witnesses slowdown in apparel shipments that account for more than 80 percent of national exports due to a fall of the euro against the US dollar as well as the Brexit issues, the US elections and a decline in consumption in the West, said Siddiqur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Rahman said that the UK is the third largest export destination for Bangladesh. But exports to this destination began declining due to Brexit that took place in June last year.
Garment shipments to the UK declined 5.19 percent to $1.53 billion in the first half of 2016-17. Usually, Bangladesh exports apparel worth more than $3 billion to the UK in a year.
Similarly, apparel export to the US, the single largest export destination for Bangladesh, declined a bit because of a volatile economy after the national elections.
Of the top 10 exporters to the US, apparel shipments of only three countries were in the negative territory in January. Among the three, Bangladesh's garment export declined 2.31 percent to $500 million in that month.
Garment exports to the US from India, Pakistan and Vietnam, the major competitors of Bangladesh in the global apparel markets, increased in January.
Rahman said that people in the western world are now spending more on smart gadgets than on clothing. This is a major reason for a fall in consumption of clothing items worldwide.
In July-February, earning from the garment sector was recorded at $18.63 billion, which is 2.82 percent higher than that in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, data showed. The February receipt from garment export was 5.64 percent lower than the periodic target at $19.75 billion.
Bangladesh to reach their export target at $50 billion at the end of 2021, they need to grow at 12.25 percent every year but they are growing at only 2 to 4 percent now.
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