As the demand for readymade garments increases rapidly across the global market, Bangladesh’s position as the world’s second largest readymade garment exporter continues to hold strong. The Bangladesh government just set a $37 billion export target for the 2016-17 fiscal year, of which over $30 billion will be contributed by the ready-made garment sector – the country’s largest source for export earnings.
According to the data from Bangladesh’s Export Promotion Bureau, the garment and apparel industry in Bangladesh generated $28.09 billion exports in the fiscal year 2015-16 with a 10.21% growth from the previous year. The growth was mainly attributed to political calmness during the year, increased productivity, entrepreneurs’ resilience and improvement of workers’ safety standards in factories.
The readymade garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh is the largest and most renowned manufacturing sector and GDP contributor. Bangladesh exports around $30 billion readymade garments every year. The advantages of Bangladesh’s readymade garment industry, including low labour cost, favourable business climate, and well established transportation facility, are pushing the industry to develop at a significant rate.
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Today, readymade garments exported from Bangladesh represent around 6% of the global clothing market. Bangladesh surpassed India to become the world’s second largest exporter in 2003. An increasing number of famous international fashion brands, such as Zara, H&M, Gap and Levi’s, are already manufacturing and importing clothes from Bangladesh. It is expected that Bangladesh will continue to strengthen its position as the leading readymade garment exporting country.
Meanwhile, the textile and readymade garment industry in Bangladesh is also putting more effort into improving gender equality in the country and empowering women to work. The government of Bangladesh has consistently made it a point that women remain the focus area in most of their policy plans. At present, the textile industry employs around 4 million citizens, and is one industry where women are in high numbers – almost 90% of the workforce.
To continue increasing the country’s readymade garment exports in the global market, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) are focusing on further boosting and promoting the country’s readymade garment sector by facilitating a healthier business environment, training more skilled workers, improving social compliance status, and improving coordination among the manufacturers, exporters and importers, with the goal of increasing Bangladesh’s foreign exchange earnings. Now Bangladesh’s vision is to achieve $50 billion readymade garment exports by 2021.
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