Bangladesh is an emerging market for textile & apparel industry. A holistic strategy will be adopted by the apparel industry in Bangladesh. There has been a realization that tax benefits and similar incentives go only so far and do not ensure sustainable growth. Domestic competitiveness, cost of doing business, workplace safety, product and market diversification, skilled labor force, foreign direct investment and technological advancement and automation in production process are also seen as key to retaining the momentum in apparel export growth.
Another issue is that of lead time. This would be a matter in readymade garment exports in future as the country might lose the cost advantage in coming days. The fact that Bangladesh’s exporters have not really made efforts to ensure a living wage for workers also places the industry at a competitive disadvantage compared with other Asian countries. While apparel workers in Cambodia work for 47 hours a week, in Bangladesh it is 60 hours a week. Moreover, 54 per cent of workers are paid below the minimum wage. To reap fair prices for export product, a strategy will be adopted to improve negotiation skills at both the entrepreneur and the government level and to empower local exporters to develop a relationship with global buyers on an equal footing.