RMG sector rebounds, yet entrepreneurs lack confidence


Staff Reporter :
The apparel sector faced significant challenges in the first half of the current fiscal year, with export growth averaging 4.77 percent from July to December.

However, there has been a remarkable turnaround, with a notable surge to 13.15 percent growth in the last two months (January-February), compared to the same period last year.

Insiders attribute this growth to increased demand for Bangladeshi apparel in western countries, particularly in the USA and EU.

Stockpiling by foreign buyers in these major markets has depleted, leading to a renewed demand for Bangladesh’s garments.

According to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) exports to all countries reached $9.47 billion during the last two months, showcasing a 13.15 percent growth rate.

The European Union (EU), the largest RMG export destination, played a significant role in this overall growth, as apparel exports to western countries grew by 15.56 percent to $4.88 billion in the two-month period from $4.22 billion at the corresponding time of last year.

However, Germany, being the major market in the EU, has been showing a continuous decline during the past few months, according to the data.

Apart from that, exports to France, Spain, and Italy showed positive growth, as RMG exports reached $536.90 million in France with a 12.35 percent growth, $737.86 million with a 14.28 percent growth in Spain, and $456.48 million with a 6.84 percent growth in Italy during the two months.


Denmark’s exports also showed positive growth, reaching $383.74 million with a 60.07 percent growth during the time compared to the same period of last year.

The USA remains the largest export destination for Bangladesh’s RMG exports, accounting for 15.10 percent of the total export value in the January-February period.

The apparel exports to the USA grew by 7.42 percent to $1.43 billion after consecutive declines in the market.

Besides, exports to Canada grew by 24.19 percent and 18.13 percent in the UK market compared to the same period last year.

The share of non-traditional markets has increased to 18.62 percent to $1.76 billion from $1.64 percent during the two-month period.

Among the non-traditional markets, Turkey posted 79.70 percent growth, Saudi Arabia 63.61 percent, China 45.61 percent, the United Arab Emirates 34.44 percent, Russia 18.49 percent, Australia 14.33 percent, and the Korean Republic 13.49 percent.

Farque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told The New Nation, “BGMEA is playing a proactive role in fostering market diversification by arranging bilateral visits, roadshows, and exchanges with government officials.

But the ongoing dollar crisis is hampering the industry for further expansion and new investment, he added.