Bangladesh readymade garment sector seems to have something to rejoice about. As per data released by the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) under the US Department of Commerce recently, Bangladesh’s RMG exports to the USA in January-September of this year grew by 9.96 per cent while the export growth to the market was 14.49 per cent in the first half (January-June) and 16.12 per cent in the first quarter (January-March).
Bangladesh’s earnings from RMG exports to the US in January-September of this year grew to US $ 4.56 billion from what was US $ 4.15 billion in the same period of last year.
The development seen in the perspective of the ongoing US-China trade war is nothing short of significant. However, it has failed to evoke a very positive response from the experts, who maintain, the export growth notwithstanding, Bangladesh is lagging way behind many of its competitors in terms of grabbing the business shifting out of China.
“We have some growth in the US market but some of our competing countries are growing fast in the market, which means we are getting very little and our competing countries are getting more benefits from order shifting from China due to the US-China trade war,” reportedly maintained Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) speaking to the media.
It may be mentioned here that apparel manufacturing hubs across the globe have had to face some challenges amidst global economic slowdown and falling demands. Despite this, countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and even India have been able to make some mark in the USA.
Among the competing countries, Vietnam registered the highest growth in apparel export to the US in the first 9 months of this year. As per OTEXA, Vietnam’s RMG export to the US in January-September of 2019 grew by 12.70 per cent to US $ 10.35 billion from US $ 9.19 billion in the same period of 2018.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s export to the US continued to increase in the 9 months of this year and saw a growth of 5.61 per cent to clock US $ 1.37 billion in RMG shipment, while apparel exports of Cambodia to the US in first 9 months in 2019 grew by 11.13 per cent to US $ 2.02 billion from US $ 1.82 billion in the same period of last year.
Even, if not may be at par with some of the above-mentioned countries, India, too, have made some gains in USA in terms of apparel exports. The US apparel import from India in January-September of 2019 grew by 8.37 per cent to US $ 3.23 billion from US $ 2.98 billion in the same period of 2018.