Bangladesh eyes $16 bln textile exports in 2010-11

Sunday, 31 October 2010 23:49 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dhaka (Reuters) - Bangladesh garment exports are expected to rise by 30 percent to $16.25 billion in the current fiscal year to June 2011, exporters said last week.

Exports could even be higher if prices of components and raw materials like cotton remained stable, they said.

"Rising prices of cotton and some other raw materials in the international market are somehow worrying us," said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Garment exports rose 31 percent to $3.97 billion in the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year compared to the same year-ago period, a BGMEA statement said.

Garments account for more than 80 percent of Bangladesh's annual exports worth of more than $16 billion, and have been a mainstay of the economy.

Bangladesh-based factories make garments for international brands such as JC Penney, Wal-Mart, H&M, Kohl's, Marks & Spencer, Zara and Carrefour.

Murshedy said Bangladesh was competing in international market against China, Thailand and Vietnam while addressing a series of worker related issues in the country.

He said an 80 percent wage hike for garment workers, now at 3,000 taka ($43) against 1,662 taka ($24) previously, to be effective from November, will be an additional challenge.

Bangladesh mainly export garments to Europe and the United States but in recent times buyers in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa and India are showing greater interests for Bangladesh garments "We are getting increased orders from these new marketing areas," Murshedy said.

BGMEA expects leading garment buyers worldwide to attend its annual exposition to be held in Dhaka in late next month.