BGMEA identifies 51 products for export diversification 

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Jan 15,2020


The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has identified 51 readymade garment products for export diversification within the sector, saying that the items have potential for an export boost.

According to the sources, the trade body would focus on 31 products for five years and on the rest 20 products for 10 years to increase export of the products significantly.

The apparel trade body has recently prepared the list of the products.

It said entrepreneurs could focus on the items for value addition and diversification within the sector in next five and 10 years.

The products include cotton made babies’ garments, women’s or girls’ briefs and panties, men’s or boys’ underpants, and trousers, women’s or girls’ blouses, shirt, brassires, t-shirts, singlets,  men’s or boys’ anoraks, women’s or girls’ jackets and blazers of synthetic, men’s or boys’ overcoats, of man-made fibres and full-length or knee-length stockings, socks and other hosiery.

According to a BGMEA research, there is huge demand for the items on the global market where Bangladesh has less portion of share.

The products on the list have annual export earning worth less than $500 million.

The BGMEA expects that the boosting of the products might help the sector reduce dependency on a few products.

The association also identified 10 potential items for the US and two items for the European Union markets where Bangladesh could enhance its effort to boost export.

The 31 items that require entrepreneurs’ attention for five years for export growth are either made of cotton where Bangladesh has strength, or non-cotton items having similar features of the traditional items, said the BGMEA report.

It said that the products were relatively less complicated to manufacture, so the cost of diversification would be less.

The global market size of the 31 products is $132 billion and Bangladesh earned $7.16 billion by exporting the items in 2018.

The global market size of the rest 20 items that require entrepreneurs’ attention for 10 years for export growth is $54 billion and Bangladesh earned only $1.2 billion by exporting the items in 2018, according to the BGMEA.

BGMEA president Rubana Huq said that value addition and product divarication were a must to remain competitive on the global market as the prices of traditional products were decreasing gradually.

According to the BGMEA data, about 73 per cent of the country’s total $34.13 billion RMG export earnings in the last fiscal year came from five items.

The products are t-shirt, sweater, trouser, jacket and shirt.

Rubana said that the product concentration signified lack of capacity of Bangladesh in value addition.

She said that Bangladesh lost 1.61 per cent unit value of RMG products on the global market in last four years.

The BGMEA in its report sought cooperation and support from the government to conduct study on product diversification to identify potential products depending on their nature of complexity and industry’s readiness to expand in those categories, and progression towards up-market.

Considering the changing global fashion scenario, Rubana demanded a strong support from the government for the future expansion in the area of non-cotton, women/girls’ clothing and outerwear/athleisure.

‘It is important for Bangladesh to consider more investments in primary textiles, especially in woven and non-cotton sectors as preferential regime by the EU for the middle-income countries require “double transformation” process as per its GSP rules of origin,’ she said.

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