Bangladesh’s garment export earnings up nearly 8% in 9 months

Exports to EU countries increased by 6.40 percent to $17.52 billion

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In the first 9 months of this year (January to September), Bangladesh’s garment exports have earned $35.61 billion. During the same period last year, apparel exports earned $32.99 billion. That is, compared to the previous year, the export income of clothing has increased by 7.96 percent in 9 months.

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Table 1: Percentage of total export, export volume & export growth of Bangladesh apparel export market during Jan-Sept ‘2023.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said that the export growth is positive due to the positive image in the global market, innovation, new markets, increase in exports of high-value garments, although the quantity and work orders are low.

He said, overall, the entrepreneurs of the country’s garment sector are doing better than our competing countries. However, government policy support is needed to deal with the crisis ahead.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data for the last 9 months, during January-September this year, Bangladesh’s exports to EU countries increased by 6.40 percent to $17.52 billion, which was $16.47 billion in the same period of the previous year.

However, Germany, the EU’s main market, has continued to decline for months. Exports to Germany in the first 9 months of 2023 fell by 12.58 percent to $4.68 billion from $5.35 billion in the same period of 2022.

Exports to France, Spain and Italy increased by 13.22 per cent, 20.72 per cent and 27.02 per cent to $2.15 billion, $2.91 billion and $1.60 billion respectively. On the other hand, exports to Denmark crossed $1 billion with a growth of 15.26 percent.

During the same period, countries such as Latvia, Romania, Finland and Croatia also achieved strong growth.

Exports to the United States, the main market of Bangladesh, fell by 7.18 percent from $6.79 billion in January-September 2022 to $6.30 billion in the same period in 2023.

In 9 months, there has been a positive growth of 14.92 percent in UK and 6.27 percent in Canada. Apparel exports to the UK and Canada during this period reached $4.07 billion and $1.12 billion respectively.

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Table 2: Export growth of other significant market during Jan-Sept ‘2023.

In addition to traditional markets, Bangladesh’s garment exports to non-traditional markets increased by 28.63 percent to $6.57 billion from $5.11 billion in January-September 2022.

Among the major non-traditional markets, exports of Japan reached $1.29 billion, an increase of 45.23 percent year-on-year, 54.69 percent in Australia, 13.87 percent in India, 20.93 percent in South Korea, 46.32 percent in China and 35.11 percent in Turkey.

As a single country, the United States is Bangladesh’s largest market, accounting for 17.70 percent of total exports and EU about 49.22 percent. It reached 11.45 percent and 3.16 percent of total apparel exports for the UK and Canada. In the first nine months of 2023, the share of non-conventional markets was recorded at 18.47 percent of total exports, the sources said. The increase in non-traditional market share is definitely a positive sign for the apparel industry. With the dream of exporting $100 billion by 2030, the diversification of the market should continue in the days to come.

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