Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | ePaper

Apparel export drops by 5pc

BD losing ground to US with Vietnam, India

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Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
Bangladesh is losing ground to the US market on apparel export trade falling behind Vietnam, and India due to lack of product diversification and rising production cost of local apparel products.
The country's has exported worth $4.35 billion apparels to the USA in the first ten months (January-October) of the current calendar year, which is 4.93 per cent lower than the value of exports during the corresponding period of the previous year, according to the data released by Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) at the US Department of Commerce.
The OTEXA date indicates that only Vietnam and India reported growth, in particular, in both exports volume and value to the US during the said period.
Bangladesh exported worth $4.58 billion apparels to the USA during January to October period of the last year.
"Vietnam and India are gaining ground on apparel export trade to the American market while Bangladesh is losing ground due mainly to lack of product diversification coupled with declining competitiveness of local apparels," BGMEA President M Siddiqur Rahman told The New Nation yesterday.
He also blamed negative publicity about Bangladesh's apparel industry for the falling export in the market.
"We are struggling to maintain competitiveness of our garment items due to higher tariffs of gas and electricity as well as structural problems," said Siddiqur Rahman, adding, "Such a situation is making our product costlier than Vietnam and India pushing up their export to the US market."  
The BGMEA president further said that Vietnam and India have appeared to be Bangladesh's major competitors in global apparel export trade taking advantage of their governments' policy support.
"We're also getting support from our government. But this is not enough to compete with them," he added.  
The OTEXA data shows, apparel import by the US noted a 1.04 per cent rise in volume terms during the January to October 2017 period.
US, the largest apparel importer in the world imported 23,109.54 million SME of apparels during the review period as against 22872.37 million SME in the prior-year period.
China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and India were the top five apparel exporters to the US during the first 10 months of 2017. The countries exported apparels worth $ 23.16 billion (down 3.64 per cent), $9.84 billion (up 6.79 per cent), $ 4.35 billion (down 4.93 per cent), $ 3.93 billion (down 2.81 per cent) and $3.22 billion (up 2.06 per cent), respectively.
The cumulative apparel import data of the US will further rise till the end of 2017 as per the projection. Holiday season sales are also expected to surge by 4 per cent this year in the country.

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