M A Islam Riyadh
The wide consumption of denim by fashion connoisseurs globally created a new opportunity for Bangladesh. Global market for denim is forecast to reach USD 64.1 billion by 2020. Currently we have 25 denim manufacturing factories and there are 04 factories are in pipe line to start production. The future of Bangladesh’s denim industry is bright. According to the United States International Trade Commission, Bangladesh exported $18.63 Core which is 8% higher than last year same period. More over Bangladesh is top in denim export to European Union (EU). To meet the growing demand of denim fabric international market, the local mills are investing hugely on state-of-art imported machineries especially on the weaving & processing side and setting up large plants in the country. Bangladesh denim expo is promoting the denim industry trough its event Bangladesh Denim Expo started its 1st edition in November 2014. Bangladesh Denim Expo has been organized Mr. Mostafiz Uddin, Managing Director of Denim Expert Ltd, as a non-profit exercise. It is an international platform showcasing the wealth of opportunities available in Bangladesh covering all aspects of the denim supply chain, with exhibitors displaying fabrics, garments, threads, machinery, finishing equipment and accessories. 5th edition of Bangladesh Denim Expo held in November 08-09, 2016 at International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka. The expo is expanding edition to edition tremendously in respect of participating countries and exhibitors.
Natural themed on 05th Edition:
This season Denim Expo offered a fresh new booth design, made from bamboo, which is both recognized as being ecological and fully biodegradable as well as complementing the shades of indigo. The shelves for products displaying are made by wood pieces. Well decorated sitting arrangements for the visitors’ relaxation made by jute and bamboo. There was a reflection of Natural theme in outside and inside of the expo venue. Visitors are attracted by the ecological, sustainable and biodegradable booths made by bamboo.
International and Local participation:
Buyers from the US, UK, China, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Russia, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, UAE, Brazil, Iran, Pakistan, South Africa, Colombia and Tunisia visited the fifth Bangladesh Denim Expo.
A total of 55 exhibitors from Bangladesh, India Pakistan, Hongkong, Thailand, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam displayed their products.
Buyers expressed their satisfaction getting exhibitors of entire denim value chain – from fabrics to washes – under one roof of Bangladesh Denim Expo. The exhibitors also made new connections in the show as a good number of buyers thronged the expo.
Panel discussion on “$50 BILLION BY 2021”:
‘Innovation’ The Strategic Business Driver” discussed where Dr. Thomas Prinz, Ambassador, German Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Mr. Johan Frisell, Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka, Bangladesh, were present as guest of honor. Mohammed Nasir, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, moderated the session.
International buyers may take long-term strategies in line with Bangladesh’s plans, said Johan Frishell, Swedish ambassador to Bangladesh. Bangladesh should also think about the innovation of products, Frishell said. If there is a long-term plan, the business would be sustainable and the international buyers will have confidence in them, he said.
United efforts will be needed to make the garment sector sustainable, said Thomas Prinz, German ambassador to Bangladesh.
Marketing is very important for reaching the target of exporting $50 billion worth of apparel items by the end of 2021, said Najeeb Sayed, country manager and dress director of PVH Bangladesh. Sayed suggested increasing the efficiency level as the prices of garment items did not rise over the years. Workers’ efficiency level should be raised, so maximum production can be ensured with less workers and cost of production goes down, Sayed said.
Tuomo Poutiainen, programme manager for the garment sector at International Labor Organization said, “Adaptability is important so the workers can become habituated to the innovation and technology. Private sector should play a leading role. Skills development of the workers is important.”
Most probably we are going to achieve the target of exporting $50 billion worth of garment items by the end of 2021, said Mr. Arshad Jamal Dipu, chairman of Tusuka Group. “Political situation should remain calm like now. At least 2,000 new garment factories are needed to hit the $50 billion target.”
Panel discussion on “Investment in Denim sector of Bangladesh”:
Taking part at a panel discussion on Investment in Denim sector of Bangladesh in second day, Bangladesh’s leading denim manufacturer Envoy Group Managing Director Abdus Salam Murshedy said Bangladesh’s denim industry is in dire need of high quality washing factories. “Our denim industry has earned a good position in the international arena. Now our challenge is to produce high quality fashion denim. We need modern washing factories for that. We have to modernize our washing factories,” he said.
Asif Ibrahim, Vice Chairman of New Age group, said as China is shifting its focus from clothing industry, many orders might come to Bangladesh, Vietnam and other countries and investment will be a big issue for Bangladesh’s industry. Similarly, Mahbub ur Rahman, Deputy CEO of HSBC Bangladesh pointed out access to loans is available for garment factories but companies must ensure financial documentation.
Taking part in the discussion, global brand H&M regional head (Bangladesh and Pakistan) Roger Hubert said that Bangladesh’s denim industry needs to invest on technology. He said the industry needs education, skill development and loans. Roger put special emphasis on using water and said denim factories should have a strategy of water consumption, “How you wash your products is important to us” he said. H&M is working with manufacturing partners to make Bangladesh’s garment industry environmental friendly.
Leoni Cuelenaere, Ambassador of Kingdom of Netherlands to Bangladesh, said her country wants to see a safer and cleaner garment industry in Bangladesh. She said the industry should be concerned about labor circumstances. “Employees of your factories are your capital. You should keep your employees happy,” she said.
Panel Discussion on “Branding Bangladesh through Denim”:
On second day, another panel discussion was held on ‘Branding Bangladesh through denim’. Taking part in the discussion, Shantanu Shing, General Manager, C&A Sourcing said denim can be a good way to brand Bangladesh. He said that there are lots of opportunities for medium suppliers. On similar lines, Jochen Weikert, Programme Coordinator of GIZ RMG project said Bangladesh needs to create some role models and produce high quality niche products. Talking about growing concerns about safety issues in RMG units, Nazneen Ahmed, Senior Research Fellow of BIDS said that despite the bad image created by Rana Plaza tragedy, Bangladesh’s garment industry is rising and that shows the strength of the industry. Former BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said Bangladesh’s garment industry should work in a way that it can give a message to the world that Bangladesh’s garment industry is the best. Agreeing with view, French ambassador to Bangladesh, Sophie Aubert said Bangladesh’s garment industry is going through a transition and her government is working with the country to improve working conditions and other issues.
6th Edition of Bangladesh Denim Expo will be held on May 17-18, 2017