We must try our best to explore avenues to new opportunities as well as focus on resource optimisation and efficiency

Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association(BGMEA), said that the RMG export to the world grew by 10.12% compared to the same period in 2022. A significant part of this growth was contributed by the European Union, the largest export destination for Bangladesh.

Export to European Union was US$ 4.22 billion with 8.42% year-on-year growth during the mentioned period of time. Though out of 27 countries in the EU region, eight countries have shown negative year-on-year growth which are Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovenia.

During the mentioned period, export to Germany declined by 12.37% and reached US$ 1.17 billion. On the other hand, export to France and Spain increased by 13.89% and 22.01% respectively. In Jan-Feb, 2023, our exports to France and Spain were US$ 477.87 million and US$ 645.68 million.

In the mentioned months, export to U.S.A. declined by 13.79% from US$ 1.54 billion to US$ 1.33 billion. Export to Canada also dropped by 3.49% and reached US$ 206.80 million. But export to the UK has shown 21.63% yearon-year growth. Bangladesh’s export to UK was US$964 million during the first two months of 2023. During January-February of 2023, our export to the non-traditional markets also increased remarkably by 42.51% to US$ 1.64 billion from US$ 1.15 billion.

Currently, our clothing export share in the non-traditional markets stands at 19.64%. Among the major non-traditional markets, Japan is our top destination which fetched US$ 321.12 million during the mentioned period. Export to other non-traditional markets such as Australia, India, South Korea, Turkey and UAE are also on the rise. However, export to Russia, China, South Africa and Chile has declined in contrast. In fact, Asia looks promising for us as we can clearly notice the upward trend of export to emerging markets like Japan, India, and South Korea.

The global economy is passing through a turbulent time. Retail sales globally is affected which resulted from the negative growth of our apparel export in some major markets. This depression in demand and consumption for clothing may continue for some time. Altogether the coming months may be quite challenging, yet we must try our best to explore avenues to new opportunities as well as focus on resource optimisation and efficiency.