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RMG exports to India grow 165pc in first five months

Western retailers source from Bangladesh for the rising middle class market

Monira Munni | December 09, 2018 00:00:00

The country's readymade garment exports to India grew by more than 165 per cent to US$ 232.39 million during the first five months of the current fiscal year (FY 2018-19) over the corresponding period of the last FY.

The figure stood at $ 87.43 million during the July-November period of FY 2017-18, according to the official data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Of the total export earnings in the current five months, $ 66.16 million came from knitwear and $ 166.22 million from shipments of woven items.

The overall exports to India stood at $ 567.82 million in July-November of the current FY against $ 288.20 million in the same period of the last FY.

The exporters and experts, however, attributed it to the demand growth among the Indian rising middle class. Western retailers, having their outlets in India, also found it competitive to source from Bangladesh, they added.

Indian GST (goods and service tax) also might have a positive impact as the basic customs duty on imports from Bangladesh has been exempted under the GST, they added.

When asked, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Md Siddiqur Rahman said the growing middle class in India has been pushing up the demands for the Bangladesh made apparel items.

Besides, the western retailers are also opening their retail shops there and increasing their sourcing from Bangladesh, he told the FE.

Responding to another question, he added that India itself has a strong knitwear capacity.

"India is undoubtedly a big market for Bangladesh and locally made apparel items have also huge demand there," said Fazlul Hoque, former president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

He said that the duty-free access to India has also encouraged the western buyers to source from here for their Indian market.

Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), attributed some internal and external factors, including the GST applicable for India's apparel imports from China, to such export growth.

Bangladesh's readymade garment (RMG) export to China also grew by 66.43 per cent to $ 221.66 million during the July-November period of FY'19 while Japanese RMG imports from the country witnessed a 53.33 per cent growth to $ 221.66 million.

Bangladesh fetched $ 302.91 million from apparel shipments to Australia, marking a 22.67 per cent growth during the first five months.

The country's exports grew by 21.34 per cent to $ 2.54 billion in the US market.

The RMG exports grew by 15.50 per cent to $ 2.50 billion in Germany, 12.81 per cent to $ 1.05 billion in Spain, 13.42 per cent to $ 802.03 million in France and 13.14 per cent to $ 417.39 million in the Netherlands during the period.

The exports, however, witnessed a slow growth of 2.55 per cent in the UK and the earnings stood at $1.59 billion.

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