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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh's share in global clothing exports rises to 6.8%

In 2018, Bangladesh’s market share dipped to 6.4% from 6.5% in 2017

Update : 05 Aug 2020, 07:56 PM

Bangladesh’s global market share in apparel exports has increased by 0.4 percentage point to 6.8% in 2019 after a slight fall in the previous year.

In 2018, Bangladesh’s market share dipped to 6.4% from 6.5% in 2017.   

According to the World Trade Statistical Review 2020, published by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week, Bangladesh’s global market share in apparel exports stood at 6.8% in 2019, which was 6.4% in 2018.

Total market size of global apparel fell to $411 billion in 2019 from $421 billion in 2018.  

However, the share of Vietnam, the closest competitor of Bangladesh, clothing export in the global markets remained unchanged at 6.20% to $31 billion.

India's market share rose to 3.5% in 2019 from 3.3% in 2018, while Turkey’s increased to 3.2% from 3.1%.

“We have done better in the last year as there was an opportunity to gain from the US-China trade war. On the other hand, the fall in the global market also is another reason for rise in market share,” former BGMEA senior vice president Faruque Hassan told Dhaka Tribune.  

Economists also think the China shifting helped Bangladesh to gain more in the export market.

“Bangladesh’s apparel market share in the global market is close to 7% and it continues to grow. It is a positive sign for the export led economy and reducing the gap with China, the largest exporters of clothing goods,” Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), told the Dhaka Tribune.

This is because of better growth compared to China’s one and Bangladesh has gained from China’s losing market share, said the economist.

As of 2019, China’s market share came down to 30.08%, which was 39.3% in 2015 meaning a continuous decline.   

However, there is concern as government initiatives, especially product diversification, to increase market shares did not succeed, said Moazzem.

On the other hand, Vietnam is gaining more from China shifting as it has a diversified products basket, he added.

How to gain more share       

The success of retaining the share and grabbing more from the pie will be depending how much Bangladesh can catch from the china relocation.  

“Government offered a tax holiday for seven year on products made of synthetic and man-made fibre that can play an important role, the local as well as foreign investors take the opportunity to grab more market share as the demands for these products are on the rise,” said Moazzem.

He suggested focusing on producing products, which are being produced by China that are currently withdrawn by manufacturers due to relocation of investment.

On the other hand, Bangladesh has to attract foreign investment in an area where there is more option to add value, he added.         

However, manufacturers demanded policy support to retain the market share as the covid pandemic hit the sector badly.  

“Amid the pandemic, there is opportunity for Bangladesh to grab more market share as well as retain the existing position,” Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) told Dhaka Tribune.

If the government continues the policy support and provides financial support as working capital and in other forms, we will be able to retain the growth, he added.    

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