Canada has witnessed a drop in its apparel shipments by 7 per cent to US $ 437.78 million from one of its major export destinations – Bangladesh in July to December 2016 period. It may be noted here that bilateral trade between the two countries crossed the US $ 2 billion mark a few years ago.
Faruque Hassan, Vice President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), commented, “The decline is due to global slump in demand for apparel. In 2015, the demand for apparel items slid 7.8 per cent globally and the decline continued in 2016 at the same rate.”
Adding to that, Faruque said that in recent years, Bangladesh’s competitors like India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka have managed to increase their shipments to Canada, which might be another reason for the decline. As a result, Bangladesh’s apparel exports to some other major countries declined as well.
However, Masud Rahman, President of Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh said: “The figure for the July-December period is just a temporary blip,” says Masud.
Despite this drop, Canada is optimistic that shipments will pick up soon as Bangladesh has duty-free access to the country. And, to make this access more significant, Canadian apparel retailers have invited several Bangladeshi garment factories owners to attend the Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada, the biggest garment exhibition in the North American country, which is scheduled to take place from August 21 to 23 this year.