BGMEA monthly session on trade topics begins

A monthly session has begun in BGMEA with specific industry related topics. Product diversification was the topic of the first session where experts from think tanks, financial institutions, members, planning commission expressed their opinions and recommendations on the issue.

Bangladesh’s RMG industry has done well in terms of expansion and export growth in last few decades. But limited diversity is the major bottleneck in its growth sustenance. Around 73 percent of Bangladesh’s total readymade garment exports ($34.13 billion) are concentrated on only five items –t-shirt, trouser, shirt, sweater and jacket while around 83 percent of total exports go to three markets -- EU, USA and Latin America. 

Besides, the export of apparel items produced from man-made fibre (MMF) from Bangladesh has remained stuck at 20 percent for many years although the production of such garment items has crossed 40 percent worldwide. In 2017, global trade of MMF based apparel was USD 150 billion, where Bangladesh had 5% share of it whereas Vietnam had 10% share.
Declining prices and increasing production costs reinforced the need for product and market diversification for the growth sustenance of the RMG industry. 

The discussants recommended allowing enhancing productivity and efficiency, allowing foreign direct investment in the textile sector, devaluation of local currency against US dollar and customized incentive packages for product diversification. 

They also suggested strengthen product development department in garment factories, using modern machines and technologies, setting up an innovation center for the industry.  
BGMEA President Dr. Rubana Huq moderated the session.    

Dr. Zaidi Sattar, Chairman, PRI; Dr. Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director, PRI; Dr. Mustafa Abid Khan, Member, Bangladesh Tariff Commission; Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Additional Research Director, (CPD); Ziur Rahman, Country Manager, H&M Bangladesh; Md Mahbub-ur Rahman, CEO and country head of Wholesale Banking, HSBC Bangladesh; Nurun Nahar, Deputy Chief, Programming Division, Planning Commission; and Sarwat Ahmed, Advisor, GIZ took part in the discussion where BGMEA Vice Presidents, Directors and Chairmen of different Standing Committees were also present at the discussion.