Exports of the country's readymade garment (RMG) items to non-traditional markets have increased over the years owing to the ongoing move to diversify export destination markets.
The exports of the apparel items to the non-traditional markets, except Russia and Chile, registered a 34.74 per cent growth to US$6.44 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the BGMEA data revealed.
The non-traditional market accounted for 18.28 per cent of the total RMG export earnings of US$35.25 billion during the period, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) data.
In fiscal 2009-10, RMG exports to non-traditional markets was US$1.08 billion or 8.66 per cent of total earnings, the data showed.
According to the industry people, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, UAE, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, New Zealand and Turkey are the 15 potential markets beyond the three traditional export destinations of USA, European Union (EU) and Canada.
Out of these countries, Bangladesh fetched US$1.22 billion from Japan, US$889.88 million from Australia, US$830.51 million from India and US$449.55 million from Korea marking over 43 per cent, 42 per cent, 58 per cent and 34 per cent growth respectively during July-March period of 2022-23 fiscal year.
On the other hand, the export of Bangladeshi readymade garment products declined over 40 per cent to $300 million to Russia and by 6.40 per cent to $118.24 million during the same period.
Talking to the FE, BGMEA president Faruque Hassan said, "We are actively working to raise both export earnings and their share in the non-traditional markets to diversify destination and reduce dependency from the traditional ones where demands are changing due to the economic turmoil, high inflation rate and the Russia-Ukraine war."
He also said that they are now focusing more on new markets and product diversification especially based on non-cotton or manmade fibre to sustain the country's export growth amid the uncertain economic situation in major markets especially the EU and USA.
The share would rise further in the coming months and might reach to 19-20 per cent at the end of the current fiscal year, he added.
Out of the US$35.25 billion earnings, some 49.96 per cent or US$17.61 billion came from EU while exports to the USA declined by 5.01 per cent accounting 17.76 per cent of the total RMG exports, said Mohiuddin Rubel, additional managing director of Denim Expert Ltd.
"Diversification into non-traditional markets helps reduce dependency on traditional markets and provides a buffer against market fluctuations and changes in demand," he said.
Bangladesh's RMG sector is struggling to boost its growth in the USA region due to the unstable economic situation of the USA. The RMG sector's potentiality is growing rapidly in non-traditional and new markets.
"New markets offer opportunities to access new customer segments that may have different tastes, preferences, and requirements from existing markets," he said.
Focusing on these new customers, the industry can expand its customer base and increase its sales, he added.
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