POST TIME: 13 December, 2018 12:05:13 AM
RMG exporters increasingly placing foothold in Indian market
Sharif Ahmed, Dhaka

RMG exporters increasingly placing foothold in Indian market

This file photo shows an employee busy working at a RMG unit in Dhaka. Independent photo

Garment exports to India have showed a very positive growth during the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year (2018-19), opening up an opportunity for the Bangladeshi apparel makers, said industry players.      

 Export earnings of the country from neighbouring India recorded an enormous growth of 165 per cent to USD232.39 million during the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year (2018-19) compared to the same period in the fiscal year 2017-18.

 According to the official data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the amount was USD87.43 million in the fiscal year 2017-18 (July-November).     

Vice president (Finance) of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Mohammed Nasir pointed to a couple of reasons and told The Independent that giant Indian business groups such as Reliance and Tata had started apparel business and opened up retail chain shops across the country.

“It’s opened up an opportunity for Bangladesh to act as the prominent supplier to them. Famous international retail brands such as Zara and H&M have established their business in India and we are the biggest supplier for them,” he said.

 “Another reason is that Indian domestic market has grown and the numbers of fashion conscious consumers have increased. We import ready-made garments (RMG) raw materials such as cotton, machinery from India, so their export is also increasing. It’s a win-win situation from both the countries,” he said.

It is a good indication that exports to major destinations turned around along with higher growth in the Indian market, said Nasir, who is also the managing director of Evergreen Sweaters Ltd.     

“India and China are the biggest markets for us because both countries have shifted their manual industries to high-tech industries and their wages have been increasing, which eventually ended up increasing the production cost,” he said.    

“The Indian market is closer to us compared to European and the US market; so there’s a huge opportunity for us to penetrate the Indian market in future. The shipment time from Bangladesh to India is barely four hours,” he added.

 The Centre for Policy Dialogue Research director Khondaker Golam Moazzem told The Independent: “India has exempted GST (goods and service tax) on imports from Bangladesh which eventually has a positive impact on our apparel export.”

 It’s a good sign that the export growth in India is increasing as the quality of product has increased. However, there is still a huge opportunity to penetrate the market as India imports USD450-billion worth of goods from other countries, he added.   

Remediation work of more than 95 per cent factory buildings have been completed and fulfilled the requirements of Accord and Alliance, the platform of two western buyers, said Nasir.

In the first five months of the current fiscal year, the earnings from two major export destinations —Germany and the UK — registered significant growth of 15.50 per cent with USD2.50 billion and 2.55

per cent in the UK. The earnings stood at USD1.59


The EPB data says Bangladesh has fetched USD1.05 billion in July-November of 2018-19 financial year from Spain, which is 12.81 per cent growth more than last year and USD417.39 million from Netherlands, which is 13.14 per cent more than last year.  

 This shows that workplace safety has improved, which eventually builds up the confidence among the European buyers, Nasir added.

 Explaining the second reason, he said, as of now Bangladesh was the largest exporter of denim products to Europe with a 27 per cent market share topping China.  

Citing another reason, he said, “Our currency has depreciated against US dollar and that could be another reason behind the continuous growth in European countries.

“We are getting Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facilities from the European countries and it helps us to grow export dependency in Europe.”