Bangladesh beats target for garment export growth

Bangladesh has booked a 14.3% increase in ready-made garment exports for the first seven months of the year against the same period last year.

As reported by the Exports Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh, ready-made garment exports stood at US$27.42bn for the July-January 2022-23 period versus $23.98bn in the year prior.

Bangladesh beat its export target for the period, which was estimated at $26.17bn. Both knitwear and woven garments experienced export increases of 12.7% and 16.3%, to $14.96bn and $12.46bn, respectively. Both sectors also beat their targets for the period.

Leather footwear, meanwhile, saw an increase in exports of 4.12% to $431.6m, but missed its target by nearly 6%. Bangladesh is the second largest importer of apparel in the world after China, boasting over 3,500 garment factories whose goods are sold to 167 countries.

The ready-made garment sector accounts for 84% of total exports. In 2021 its global market share stood at 6.26% according to the Trade Statistical Review 2021. According to  Dr Sheng Lu, professor of apparel and fashion studies at the University of Delaware “China was a critical factor behind US fashion companies’ shifting sourcing patterns. In particular, due to the rising US-China trade tensions and concerns about other supply chain risks associated with sourcing from the country, US fashion companies continued to reduce “China exposure.” 

He also explained China suffered a decline in its market shares for as many as 165 categories (or 76%) between 2019 and 2022 (January to September). Moreover, it lost more than five percentage points of its market shares for 107 categories of products (or nearly 50%).”

Bangladesh is one of the main winners of a sourcing diversification shift from China and is now looking to overtake China as the world’s largest supplier of apparel.