Exports to cross the US$1 billion mark by 2020

A recently study by Switzerland-based International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) said by the end of 2020, China would produce $750 billion worth of garments up from the current $300 billion, half for exports and the remaining for domestic use. Currently, about 80% of China's garment products are produced for local consumption. So Bangladesh should focus on this Asian economic giant for its future export growth. The remaining export-focused 20% make up about 40% of global apparel trade, worth nearly $200 billion. China has 1.35 billion people, for which many Chinese manufacturers do not bother with exports, the study said.

Chinese manufacturers produce high-end garment products which middle class consumers can hardly afford, and as a result, demand for Bangladeshi garment items is increasing. Since Chinese manufacturers have already shifted their focus to high-end products, Chinese government started exploring an alternative market for middle class consumers. As a measure, the Chinese government in April 2011 allowed duty-free access to 4,721 products, of which majority are garments. Therefore, the garment export to China from Bangladesh is on the rise.

Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, Former President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), points out the Chinese market would grow automatically as they have already shifted from producing basic items. Local garment exporters enjoy a 3% cash incentive on export to China under a new market stimulus package introduced in 2009 to minimise fallouts of global financial recession.

China's state-owned companies and private sector entrepreneurs have also shown a keen interest in Bangladesh for Chinese government's flagship Belt and Road Initiative, which includes Bangladesh. In 2016-17, overall export increased 17.49% to $949.41 million from $808.14 million in the 2015-16, reveals Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau figures. Soon China would become the second Asian market after Japan for Bangladeshi exports to cross the US$1 billion mark.


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