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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Bangladesh doubles its apparel exports to the US in past five years

The trade war between China and the United States enabled Bangladesh to double its exports in the past five years to the US despite a fall of 8.68 percent in exports last year.

The competitive prices of the locally made apparels made it possible to penetrate the US market which witnessed two strong years in 2021 and 2022 according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.

Bangladeshi RMG manufacturers sent $5.84 billion worth of garments to the US in 2018 and over $9 billion in 2022, but it fell the next year, caused solely by a dip in woven garment shipment. However, knitwear exports saw a marginal jump in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Readymade garment export to the European Union (EU) slowed to a great extent last year, posting a meagre year-on-year growth of 1.49 percent down from 2022’s 28.49 percent. Apparel export to the EU was $23.38 billion in 2023 from $23 billion the previous year.

The major decline in exports was registered from Germany, the largest RMG buyer in the European Union. Bangladesh shipped $6.1 billion worth of garments to Germany in 2023, down from $7.29 billion in 2022. Among other EU countries, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia also experienced a negative year-on-year growth.

Conversely, the positive performance was maintained in a few EU markets, particularly in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands where it rose by 16.21 percent, 8.46 percent, 10.52 percent, 12.69 percent and 13.27 percent respectively. With the growth in these countries, Bangladesh’s  export to the overall EU region was able to maintain a status-quo in growth in 2023.

Meanwhile, UK, the third largest export destination for Bangladesh, managed to retain a year-on-year growth of 12.46 percent in 2023 by shipping $5.34 billion RMG last year compared to $4.75 billion the previous year.Additionally, Bangladesh’s export to non-traditional markets demonstrated encouraging growth, increasing remarkably by 20.54 percent to $8.87 billion in 2023.

Currently, the clothing export share to the non-traditional markets stands at 18.72 percent, from 16.52 percent in 2018. Notably, Japan is Bangladesh’s top destination among major non-traditional markets, fetching $1.68 billion in the mentioned period, posting a 26.53 percent year-on-year growth. Exports to other non-traditional markets, including Australia, Russia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and China, also posted positive growths.

In 2023, Bangladesh’s RMG export to the world increased 3.67 percent year-on-year to $47.39 billion. The six years’ data compiled by the BGMEA shows that Bangladesh shipped $32.93 billion garments in 2018, posting a 12.71 percent growth.

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