Bangladesh exports surge 30% on apparel sales

Thursday, 9 December 2010 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Bangladesh’s exports in November surged 30 percent to $1.55 billion, led by strong demand for the country’s ready-made garments, the Export Promotion Bureau said.

Exports for July to November, the first five months of 2010/11 fiscal year, were up 35.8 percent at $8.27 billion from the same period in the previous year.

Earnings from knitted textiles in July to November rose 37 percent from the previous year to $3.5 billion, while woven garment earnings rose 36 percent to $2.88 billion. Clothes account for 80 percent of Bangladesh’s overseas sales. Orders are growing from key markets the United States and Europe and new markets such as Turkey, Japan and South Africa.

Bangladesh’s cheap labour costs have helped it join the global supply chain for low-end textiles and clothing. Bangladesh nearly doubled the minimum monthly wage for millions of workers in the garment industry to 3,000 taka ($43), which took effect in November, but wages are still low compared with rivals such as China, India, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Bangladesh makes garments for international brands such JC Penney, Wal-Mart, H&M, Kohl’s, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour.

Last month, the government increased the amount of credits available, cut tax and offered cash incentives to garment exporters to explore new markets.

Exports rose 4.11 percent to $16.20 billion in the 2009/10 fiscal year that ended in June, but were still below target.

The government expects exports to climb 14 percent this fiscal year to $18.5 billion as the global economy recovers.