‘$100 Billion Export Target by 2030’ analysis of BGMEA’s goals

Pranta Biswas

By 2030, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) wants to ship $100 billion worth of garments, more than double what the nation did in the recently ended fiscal year. To meet the new aim, suppliers will need to spend $7.17 billion more year than they currently do. In the most recent fiscal year, which concluded on June 30, Bangladesh exported clothing worth $42.61 billion, according to figures from the Export Promotion Bureau.

Prospects of $100 Billion Export Target:

In accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals, the new vision calls for garment exporters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. By 2030, the clothing industry will also utilize at least 50% of sustainable materials and cut its blue water footprint by half. By 2030, the sector will consume 30% less energy and at least 20% renewable energy, according to the BGMEA. By assuring complete institutionalization of skill development, employee wellbeing, and excellent health, the garment sector will create 6 million employments by 2030. Apparel producers will spend $1 billion on sustainable communities during this period.

With this goal in mind, BGMEA has launched a new logo as a part of its promotional program. The logo includes 9 dots or 9 pillars. This nine-point logo is the matrix of BGMEA’s scope of work and influence. So, what are these nine dots and what do they mean?

  1. People– To forever work for the well-being of the people of Bangladesh and mankind at large.
  2. Inclusivity– To listen. To be approachable. To involve people across the spectrum and not discriminate.
  3. Transparency– For accountability and access to information that is central to building a trustworthy, flexible and resilient organization.
  4. 4. Infrastructure– To build a safe and sustainable future through power plants, green factories, and modern worker-friendly workplaces.
  5. Innovation– For its ongoing contribution to the 4th IR and encouraging automation.
  6. Circularity– For the conservation of the natural system via an economic shift from a linear to a circular system.
  7. Global network– To be ahead in the world through innovations, pivots, and flexible adaptations.
  8. Brand Bangladesh– To uplift the equity of Brand Bangladesh in the realm of sustainability and to uphold Bangladesh’s values to the world at large.
  9. Environment– for the respect we have for nature and the dedication to preserving the natural system.

It is possible to achieve the target as we are diversifying the products and markets

Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA

“It is possible to achieve the target as we are diversifying the products and markets. Three key products, including the shipment of mid-range clothing items, MMF-made goods, and technical clothing like the uniforms worn by healthcare experts and professionals in other service sectors, will be the main sources of income for Bangladesh. There aren’t many exporters in the $700 billion worldwide market for MMF-made clothing since domestic manufacturers are better at producing cotton-based clothing.

78% of items in the worldwide fashion business are made of MMF, and the remaining 20% are produced of cotton fiber. In the instance of Bangladesh, only 26% of the products are MMF-based and 74% are made of cotton. As a result, we have a ton of room to grow in the MMF and technical item segments while also maintaining our position as a leader in mid-range items.”

As an Industry Development Partner, Denim Focus is always keen to explore the sustainable growth of the Bangladesh Textile and Apparel Industry. In association with the BGMEA Leaders, we also talked about several stakeholders opting out of their opinion about the $100 billion export Target within 2030. Stakeholders’ comments are below-

Exporting more amount is not a fact, the fact is how much we are earning by export

Md. Sirazul Islam, Former Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA)

“Bangladesh has improved so much in the RMG sector. It’s a matter of pride that we are the number one country in the world in terms of compliance and we have 16greencertifiedd factories and more than 500 are in process. Another remark is that 9 out of the world-class green garments industry is situated in Bangladesh. Right now we have enough strength for meeting the target of $100 billion in export. However, we need some improvement. Exporting more amount is not a fact, the fact is how much we are earning by export. If we want to earn more by exporting less amount then we must add value to RMG products, we have to diversify our product range from Basic items. Thankfully BGMEA and its members are very much aware of this. And they are trying to go for high-end garments. To support the vision of a $100 billion export, BIDA is trying to attract more investment from all over the world. As part of the promotion we are arranging some road shows, workshops, seminars in the USA, UK and some other

countries as well.”

Now we have the challenge of 4IR, upskilling & Reskilling workers for more productivity by learning modern technology and automation

Abdullah Hil Rakib, Managing Director, TEAM Group and Director, BGMEA

“Bangladesh textile and apparel industry have a momentum that we can really achieve $100 billion export if we can organize our self in such a way. Because having the Geo-Political situation like people coming from China and looking for alternative options at this stage, Bangladesh is playing a great role. All these things are giving us enormous opportunities. Now it’s up to us how much we are ready to take over this capacity if we are ready to support infrastructural and financially. As an entrepreneur, we want to secure the business and for this purpose, we want to reinvest. And this is why we need support from the government for restructuring the funding policy with less interest. Another one is sustainable building infrastructure which most of the factories are following nowadays as we have more than 160 green-certified factories. Now we have the challenge of 4IR, upskilling & Reskilling workers for more productivity by learning modern technology and automation. If we can do that, we will achieve them otherwise lose them.”

Achieving the $100b export target is not a very difficult task-

Shahadat Hossain, Managing Director, Fortis Group

Achieving $100 billion is not a very difficult task. It’s easy to achieve the target if we can overcome some challenges like logistic support, port facilities, and most importantly Backward Linkage Support.

Right now, the ongoing support from these areas is not capable of meeting the $100 billion target.

We especially need the cooperation of the government to resolve the continuity of Gas & Electricity

Engr. Shafiqur Rahman, Managing Director, Hams Group and President, ITET

“Achieving $100 billion export within 2030” which is targeted by the BGMEA President is obviously possible. We have met the previous target by achieving almost $43 billion within 2022. I think the target of touching 100 billion dollars in the next 8 years is quite possible as the current Bangladesh textile industry development trend is so satisfactory. But there are some obstacles here that we need to overcome. We especially need the cooperation of the government to resolve the continuity of Gas & Electricity. Apart from that, policy-level issues like Customs, Bond, and port facilities’ smoothness are also needed to be taken care of. Finally, the target is dependent on global business trends as well. If the restlessness among Russia Ukraine, China- Taiwan stops then our export will obviously increase. Also, the entrepreneurs of our country are very brave to face any kind of situation. So if we all can move forward keeping the target ahead, and increase the productivity with diversification then obviously this export target of $100 billion will be achieved.”

To achieve the $100 billion target, we must think of developing expertise in the diversified product

M U Chowdhury, CEO, Fifth Alliance Global Trading Ltd

“After the pandemic, the world economy is still in crisis due to Russia Ukraine War which influences inflation, dollar unavailability. So it’s true we are in crisis, however, still, Bangladesh Apparel Industry is doing very well. To achieve the $100 billion target, we must think of developing expertise in the diversified product. We also need to accept small quantity orders as well. Our strength is in the Basic products so we can’t refuse the basic products if we really want to increase the export value. Buyers from all over the world especially in Europe are also in crisis. But we are optimistic, that at the end of the year, a big amount of orders will come to Bangladesh. So we need to be prepared to grab those orders and accelerate the export volume for touching the BGMEA’s $100 billion export target within 2030.”

We need government support financially for reinvestment

Ekram Hossain, Director, AZ Apparels Ltd

“Our industry is moving forward and we have to organize ourselves in order to reach the $100 billion Target by 2030. So now it’s up us to determine what capacity we will ensure to our buyers. We the RMG manufacturers are very much interested to secure the business. However, we need government support financially for reinvestment. As you see most of our factories are compliant and some of them are Leed certified. We can Brand ours with an image showing these sustainable factories to buyers so that they can be assured that they are producing products from sustainable factories. At the same time, we have to train our workers so that diversified products can be handled by them easily. As a result, we will be able to grab the new market. Altogether if we can move forward in such a way then, I firmly believe, we will be able to achieve the $100 Billion target.”

So the industry leaders and stakeholders are very much optimistic to achieve the target of $100 billion in export. They are trying their best for boosting export earnings.

Challenges:

It won’t be simple for Bangladesh to increase its garment exports to $100 billion in the coming years, though. Bangladesh is expected to lose the duty-free export advantages that have helped it become a center for the production of garments once it exits the group of the least developed countries in 2026. If the nation can’t keep the preferential trade benefit, the garment industry could lose $5 billion in annual export profits, which is not a good indication. Apart from that, price hikes of raw materials, gas, electricity, and transport are major issues. The industry needs to be more cautioned that, more investments need more manpower. To meet the Export target, highly skilled workers are also needed. High production cost, absence of an innovative design center, high bank interest, and Customs bond complexities are also getting added to the challenge list.

Despite all of these challenges, we hope the industry will meet the target and add value to Bangladesh’s economy. The industry has been going through all sorts of troubles in the recent past most of which are out of control like covid, price hikes, recessions in the West and the list goes on. Matter of fact is that the industry is still trying to keep moving and transforming to survive in turmoil conditions. However, if all the stakeholders including the government and business partners do not come ahead with the required support it will be impossible for the industry to retain the pace of development in the longer run.