A study titled “Establishing A Virtual Marketplace for Bangladeshi Apparels.” Estimates that the country has the potential to gain additional garment business worth $489 million by 2027 from virtual markets in the US, European Union (EU), and Africa.
The study revealed that it needs to implement a framework for international e-commerce platforms by then. It states that 2026 the virtual garment market in the US, EU, and Africa will be worth $308 billion. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) conducted the study in collaboration with LightCastle, a consulting firm for the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The study said Bangladesh could gain 0.20 percent of the virtual garment markets in the US, 0.10 percent in the EU, and 0.75 percent in Africa by 2027. It is estimated that one-third of total apparel sales in the EU and US will shift to online channels by 2027, said Dipa Sultana, senior business consultant and project manager of LightCastle, while presenting the study findings.
She said that the establishment of virtual marketplaces would reduce lead times, reduce the cost of business, and simplify business procedures in terms of international trade, adding that the number of middlemen would also be reduced, ultimately making business more competitive. She said there will also have to be international warehouses near those destinations.
The local garment suppliers can sell goods to wholesalers, retailers, brands, and even to end consumers directly through virtual marketplaces, which will ultimately help to get better prices as middlemen will not eat into profits. Amazon and Alibaba have virtual marketplaces and supply goods sourced from Bangladesh to their customers.
Because the future of business, not only the garment business but also in the case of other products, is through virtual online business platforms. The government needs to simplify the customs, port, and banking rules so local businessmen can do more business by establishing virtual marketplaces.