Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest exporter of fashion, plans to diversify its exports away from ready-made clothes in order to sustain its economic growth momentum, AHM Mustafa Kamal, Minister of Finance, said.
According to a Business of Fashion survey, readymade apparel currently accounts for more than 80% of the overall exports of the country, with the bulk of shipments going to either Europe or the US. The pandemic-induced slump in global demand has also led to a downturn in exports, accounting for about 15% of the economy. From electronics to jute, the government aims to promote exports of everything.
For reasons outside the pandemic, diversification of exports assumes importance for the South Asian community. Bangladesh, one of the few economies to continue to flourish in a recession-hit world, is expected to discard its least developed country status by 2024, a designation that currently makes it eligible for the “Everything but Arms” trade agreement of the European Union that provides duty-free, quota-free access to all goods, except arms and ammunition.