The developed countries witnessed the consumption fall in the wake of gloomy economic situation.
According to World Trade Organisation (WTO) data, global consumption of RMG products came down to $445 billion, which was $483.28 billion in previous year.
After the economic recession in 2008, the global consumption of clothing products witnessed a decline by 13.23% to $315.51 billion in 2009, which was $363.62 billion a year ago.
The slower consumption of apparel products comes as a challenge to leading RMG exporting countries as they have already seen negative growth except Bangladesh.
China, the number one exporter accounting for 39.26% global market share, has seen a 6.37% decline in its exports to world market in 2015 followed by Turkey and Indonesia.
According to the World Trade Statistical Review 2016 released in August by WTO, Bangladesh global market share in clothing products rose to 5.9% to $26.15 billion in 2015, which was 5.1% in the previous year.
However, Bangladesh apparel export in the last fiscal year was $28 billion.
“Economic ups and downs in the developed countries has cast shadow on employment. As a result, consumption of clothing products has declined,” Khondaker Golam Moazzem, additional research director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), told the Dhaka Tribune.
Appreciated dollar exchange rate in supplier countries may be another reason behind the downswing of global consumption, added Moazzem.
China’s export is falling because of order shifting by the buyers while China itself is turning to quality and higher labour cost that is also pushing the production cost up, said Moazzem.
The negative growth of the second biggest economy of the world is a boon for Bangladesh as the largest manufacturer is shifting its business to high end and technology. This shifting can be landing in Bangladesh.
China shifting is a big opportunity for Bangladesh and to cash in on the situation, the government and the manufacturer platform has to identify those relocating their business and build network with them, said Moazzem.
He observed that Bangladesh will a see a great rise in RMG sourcing if it completes the whole inspection process.
“Bangladesh is safe. This is because of combined efforts of owners and workers as well as the government policy support for exploring new markets. Improvement of workers safety has acted as catalyst for having more orders with boosted confidence,” Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) senior vice-president Faruq Hassan told the Dhaka Tribune.
Talking on the China shifting, Faruq said Bangladeshi manufacturers are ready to receive buyers, who are relocating business.
“We have 35 years of experience, strong foothold in backward linkage industry and capacity to carry out a large volume of orders with plenty of skilled workers.”
He suggested that the government has to come up with policy support in ensuring uninterrupted gas and electricity supply to facilitate timely shipment to buyers.