India, for the last few years, has emerged as a promising export destination for ‘Made in Bangladesh’ apparel products. However, according to media reports, India now wants easy access for its ethnicwear products to Bangladesh as well.
The Indian Textile Ministry has reportedly proposed to Bangladesh to create a special provision for export of its ethnicwear products (sherwanis, jackets, kurtas and kurtis, sarees and blouse sets, bottoms like churidaars, palazzos and leggings, salwar suits, gowns, Indo-western dresses, etc.) for mutual benefit even as the Indian Government has reportedly underlined that business opportunities in the industry had remained untapped between the two countries and proposed to collaborate in the ethnicwear segment for mutual benefits and explore the global opportunities in this untapped segment.
India made the proposal on 23 September at a meeting held to scrutinise the draft memorandum — Bangladesh and India have taken a move to sign a memorandum of understanding to enhance trade and economic relations in a balanced manner by expanding business and cooperation in the sphere of textiles, including handlooms, silk, jute, cotton, skills training institutions and clothing and fashion industries — at the Textiles Ministry in Bangladesh.
Reports claim that the chief mentor of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India, in a letter written earlier, had requested the Indian Textile Ministry to take an initiative so that ethnicwear products could get easy access to Bangladesh with special tariff while underlining that such items were not manufactured in significant quantities in Bangladesh and requested the Indian Government to include ethnicwear in the memorandum.
Meanwhile, reacting to India’s proposal, first Vice-President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), Mohammad Hatem reportedly underlined that the draft memorandum was being examined by them considering the trade benefits for both the countries while adding that technical support from India would benefit the Bangladesh textile sector.
But we do not agree with India’s proposal for easy access of its ethnicwear products to Bangladesh, reportedly maintained the BKMEA first Vice-President while adding that a good number of local manufacturers were making such products in Bangladesh.