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Bangladesh Garment Exports To Non-Traditional Markets Skyrocket

In a sign of Bangladesh’s increasing importance as a garment industry source, exports to non-traditional countries spiked by 28.75 percent over the last fiscal year, according to a report from the Export Promotion Bureau, a government agency under the Ministry of Commerce.

Importers of apparel made in Bangladesh included Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Mexico, Japan, Turkey, Russia, South Africa and South Korea. All eleven of these nations are relatively new markets for Bangladesh.

For the Bangladeshi fiscal year that ended June 30, total exports to these countries jumped to $2.97 billion, compared to last year’s exports of $2.3 billion.

Knitwear led the garment sub-categories with exports increasing by 30.66 percent year-over-year to $1.49 billion.  Woven products followed as the second most exported sub-category, climbing 26.89 percent to $1.48 billion.

Exports to Russia increased the most among the new Bangladeshi markets, with Chile, South Korea, Australia and Japan next in line.

Bangladesh’s robust garment export business developed from the economic slump which hit the US and the EU in 2007-2008.  When exports to the US and EU fell during that period, Bangladesh garment manufacturers sought new markets for their goods.  The current increases in exports are the results of the seeds planted more than five years ago.

Continuing the upward trend, for the July-June 2012-2013 period, Bangladesh garment exports increased by about 12.7 percent to $21.5 billion, compared to exports of $19 million for the previous period.

Europe was the biggest importer of Bangladeshi garments for the fiscal year just ended, at $12.56.  The US was next, importing garments valued at $4.99 billion, and then Canada, importing garments valued at $980 million.

Bangladesh’s increasing export numbers bode well for the nation’s economy, especially in view of the recent factory safety problems that both government and the private sector are working to improve.