Already under stress after its garment exports recorded a meagre 0.20 per cent growth in the fiscal year 2016-17, the garment manufacturers of Bangladesh have now been advised by the European garment retailers to go for high-end and value-added products. As per the European garment buyers, enhancement of the product portfolio could prove to be a ‘game changer’ for the Bangladesh garment industry.
At a day-long meeting in Dhaka, the apparel buyers from Europe called upon the Bangladesh’s garment manufacturers to move beyond the traditional, basic products and start focusing on value addition, considering the fierce competition in today’s global apparel market. The recently held meeting was a part of CBI Project, a Dutch initiative to boost imports from developing countries. The official meet witnessed participation of nearly 15 European retail giants including G-star, Knits Only, Tricorp, Hema and Modint.
Serge Leon, a Freelance Design Advisor to the European retail brand Modint, underlined that production cost in Bangladesh has been growing rapidly; while, the price of basic items are not that high. Therefore, the business has become increasingly difficult for the Bangladesh RMG makers and value-added, high-end items can make the business more viable for them.
“Had Bangladesh exported more high-end products, Bangladesh could have earned US $ 35 billion from the same quantity of goods sold for US $ 28 billion in 2015-16 FY,” Leon emphasised.
The apparel retailers; however, hailed Bangladesh’s strong performance in the denim sector. The country has already surpassed China to capture 21.8 per cent of the market share globally, thus creating a newer growth opportunity for the Bangladesh apparel industry.