Utilise export opportunities emerging due to Russia-Ukraine war: PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (March 20, 2023) put emphasis on formulating new long term export policy for Bangladesh, considering graduation to a developing country from LDC after 2026. “After 2026, while we will graduate to a developing country from LDC, we will get some opportunities… We have to utilise those opportunities to make our economy stronger and develop the country further,” she said. The prime minister said this while speaking at the 11th meeting of the National Committee on Export, at her official residence Ganabhaban. She mentioned that after graduating to a developing nation, the next aim will be to become a developed one. Read More: Canada to increase potash exports to Bangladesh to boost food production, says country’s trade ministry Sheikh Hasina also asked the concerned to utilise opportunities regarding enhancing Bangladesh’s export items that have emerged due to Russia-Ukraine war. She said that due to Russia-Ukraine was, there is an opportunity for Bangladesh to create new markets with its own products. In this regard, she said that many countries have already shown interest to import food items from Bangladesh. “We could export food items after fulfilling local demands. We can take initiatives for that,” she said. Read More: Simplified policy, product diversification could boost exports to UK over $12 billion by 2029: Study says She said that immense opportunities could be created through establishing food processing industries in the country and export those items. The PM said that the government has given importance to the export sector. “After assuming office, we have taken steps to formulate long term export policies instead of policies on one-year basis. To sustain achievements, there is no alternative to long term strategy,” she said. She said that the government has formulated export policy until 2024 (2021-2024). Read More: Apparel export to EU up 14.3% during July-February of FY23 “…But what will we do after that? In the meantime, we are graduating to a developing country. I think this is the right time to consider what we will do in the coming days or how we will advance,” she said. She put emphasis on setting the next moves for economy, keeping in mind the current economic turmoil across the globe. “We have to find new markets across the globe. We have to diversify our products, we have to include new items in our export basket,” she said. The PM said that the Awami League government has given utmost importance to the private sector and it opened every sector to entrepreneurs as it is not possible for the government alone to develop the country. Read More: 'India a great potential market for Bangladesh's RMG exports' For the development of the export sector, she said, a strategy needs to be adopted and products have to be identified. “For that we have formulated a prospective plan – to turn the country into a developed one by 2041,” she said. The PM also mentioned ICT and digital devices, RMG, pharmaceuticals, light and medium weight industries, motor vehicles and electronic motor vehicles, while talking about diversifying products. She said that the government is preparing 100 economic zones with investment from home and abroad. Read More: Bangladesh export income rises despite bad global economy “Bangladesh has been able to attract foreign investments,” PM Hasina said.
Apparel export to EU up 14.3% during July-February of FY23
The European Union's (EU) apparel imports from Bangladesh saw 14.29 percent growth during the first eight months of fiscal 2022-23, $15.72 billion from $13.75 billion in July-February FY22, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). Germany being the largest European market fetched $4.62 billion, marking a 1.03 percent negative growth compared to the same period of the previous year. Apparel exports to France and Spain rose by 27.65 percent ($1.89 billion) and 18.79 percent (2.35 billion), respectively. However, exports to Bulgaria and Poland showed 51.21 percent and 15.06 percent year-on-year negative growth. "During the mentioned period, our exports to the US fell by 2.87 percent year-on-year. However, apparel exports to Canada and the UK saw 20.05 percent and 14.52 percent year-on-year growth, respectively," Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Director Md Mohiuddin Rubel said. "During the first eight months of FY23, our exports to the US, the UK and Canada were $5.68 billion, $3.36 billion, and $980 million, respectively," he added. "At the same time, exports to the non-traditional markets increased by 35.02 percent to $5.69 billion. Among the major non-traditional markets, our exports to Japan, Australia, India and South Korea reached $1.07 billion, $767.75 million, $753.92 million and $387.63 million, respectively," Rubel said. Also read: 2022 was a year of turning around: BGMEA
Bangladesh should go for PTA with Mercosur instead of FTA: Argentine minister
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has hoped that Argentina would support Bangladesh's initiative to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with the South American regional economic organisation Mercosur during its current presidency. In response, Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Santiago Andres Cafiero suggested that Bangladesh pursue a preferential trade agreement (PTA) instead of FTA. Momen also requested Santiago to consider lowering the existing 35 percent duty imposed by Argentina on readymade garments (RMG) products and withdrawing $0.16 per kg anti-dumping duty on jute bags and sacks from Bangladesh to have greater market access. A 34-member high-level Argentine delegation, led by the Argentine minister, is paying a two-day state-level visit to Dhaka. Read more: Bangladesh attractive destination for business, investment: Momen tells Argentine delegation The non-resident Argentine ambassador to Bangladesh, undersecretary of trade and chief of cabinet to the Argentine foreign minister, are also accompanying the minister. Momen received his Argentine counterpart this morning at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Later, Santiago led a delegation to the Brac Foundation. The purpose was to learn from the Brac development programmes and success stories focusing on women's empowerment and rural women's financial inclusion. Both sides agreed to collaborate to share knowledge on how to bring about financial inclusion in a responsible manner to pull millions of vulnerable women in rural and urban areas of Argentina out of poverty. Read More: Reopening embassy in Dhaka a stepping stone to build better ties with Bangladesh: Argentina Santiago had a meeting with Momen at state guest house Jamuna this evening. Momen expressed gratitude to the Argentine government for reopening its diplomatic mission in Dhaka. The foreign minister showed interest in wider cooperation between Bangladesh and Argentina in agriculture, agro-processing, cattle and poultry industries, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, the ICT sector, heavy and light machinery and equipment. Santiago and Momen emphasised the importance of enhancing close collaboration to increase bilateral trade and investment. Read More: Argentina’s foreign minister in Dhaka to reopen embassy, deepen ties.
Despite being environment-friendly, jute not getting the attention RMG industry draws: PM
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (February 14, 2023) said that despite being an environment-friendly agricultural product, jute did not get the expected attention and incentives like the RMG (readymade garments) industry of the country. “The way we give incentives to garment industries… being an agricultural product, jute is not getting that opportunity. Jute urgently needs that scope. I have already given my directives in that regard,” she said. The Prime Minister said this while addressing a programme marking National Textiles Day and inaugurated six new textile engineering colleges. The programme was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC), while the PM joined virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban. Read More: Govt giving Tk 8 crore incentives to 4 lakh jute farmers to boost production The theme of National Textiles Day is ‘Let’s use local textile products, build golden Bangla’. Sheikh Hasina said that once upon a time, jute brought foreign currencies for the country and now that scope has emerged again as climate change has made people acutely conscious about the environment. “Jute is an environment-friendly product. It is possible to produce numerous products from jute,” she said. She also said that researchers of the country are working hard on this and have been able to invent various types of products. Read More: 64 percent land of Jute Corporation lost to grabbers, Parliamentary Standing Committee told “We should put more importance on jute” she said. The Prime Minister said that along with traditional items, new creative ideas are needed for better outcome. She called on RMG entrepreneurs to look for and identify new markets around the world, alongside producing new variations of products. “We do not want to remain import-dependent, we want to export more,” she said. Read More: Export of jute products a boon for Satkhira women In this connection, she said that ICT is playing a big role. She put emphasis on value-addition to the export items of the country, so that those can bring in more foreign curreny for the country. Sheikh Hasina said that this is the "digital era" and Bangladesh has become digital. "If we look at industrial revolutions around the world, we will see one after another concept coming out. Now, the fourth industrial revolution is underway where digital devices will be used the most," she added. Read More: Jute sticks: A new source of income for Faridpur farmers For that, she said the government has taken steps to develop human resources in Bangladesh as worthy manpower ready for that industrial revolution. In this regard, she said that the government has undertaken steps to provide technical training in every upazila. “Creating skilled manpower is our main goal; in Bangladesh the youths are quite bright,” she said. Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) acting president Md. Shahidullah Azim, and Textiles and Jute Secretary Md. Abdur Rauf also spoke at the event. Read More: All closed jute mills under BJMC to be reopened within this year: Minister A documentary was also screened at the programme. Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, on behalf of the Prime Minister, handed over honorary commemorative to ten institutions and organisations for their contribution in development of the textile sector. Textiles and Jute Ministry established six new textile engineering colleges in different districts across the country. The colleges are: Sheikh Rehana Textile Engineering College in Gopalganj, Shaheed Abdur Rob Serniabat Textile Institute at Gournadi of Barishal, Shaheed Kamaruzzaman Textile Institute in Naogaon, Begum Amina Mansoor Textile Engineering Institute in Sirajganj, Bhola Textile Institute in Bhola, and Sheikh Russel Textile Institute in Jamalpur. Read More: Jute growers paying for drought that resulted in discoloured fibre Currently, there are six government textile engineering colleges located in Chattogram, Pabna, Noakhali, Jhenaidah, Barishal, and Rangpur. These are affiliated with the Bangladesh Textile University and managed by the Directorate of Textiles under the Ministry of Textiles and Jute.
Bangladesh leads the way to 'green revolution' in RMG factories
Bangladesh has strengthened its position as the global leader in green apparel factories, with the number of such factories with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the United States of Green Building Council (USGBC) now at 187. KDS IDR, a subsidiary of Chattogram-based KDS Group, is the latest to adopt the new generation of factories. On February 1, they got the platinum certification with a score of 84 out of 100, BGMEA Director Md Mohiuddin Rubel said Monday. "Among the top 100 green factory units, 50 are from Bangladesh. And among the top 10, eight are from here as well," he added. Four factory units already achieved the LEED certification in 2023. Amanat Shah Fabrics of Narsingdi's Panchdona received this year's first LEED certification from the USGBC. Of the 187 green-certified factories in Bangladesh, 63 are platinum-rated, 110 gold-rated, 10 silver-rated, and four are green-certified, according to the USGBC. The USGBC honours factories based on several criteria – transformation performance, energy, water, and waste management being some of the most prominent. The best performers are rated with platinum, followed by gold and silver. Read more: Another Bangladeshi factory, Amanat Shah, gets global green recognition
Top 10 Export-Earning Products of Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s export earnings hit a record high of $52.08 billion in FY22. However, inflation and economic slowdown across the world impacted the country's export earnings. Though clothing is the main export product of Bangladesh, the export basket includes many other products that contribute significantly to the economy. Let’s take a look at Bangladesh’s top export products. 10 Major Exportable Products of Bangladesh Bringing Highest Earning Besides the apparel industry, small factories of various export products have been developed in all corners of the country by private initiatives. Here are the product categories that bring the highest foreign exchanges for Bangladesh. 1. Readymade Garments In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022, the export value of Bangladesh’s Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector reached an estimated $31.46 billion or approximately Tk. 3,33,639 crore (the exchange rate is equivalent to Tk. 106.05), which was a growth compared to the previous year’s figure of $27.95 billion or approximately Tk. 2,96,415 crore (the exchange rate is equivalent to Tk. 106.05). Read More: BGMEA, SOWTEX to help connect more Bangladeshi RMG exporters with Indian textile suppliers The RMG exports of Bangladesh comprise a wide range of knitwear and woven garments, including shirts, pants, T-shirts, jeans, jackets, and sweaters. Notably, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics indicate that knitwear products saw a remarkable rise of 36.88% to $23.2 billion, or approximately Tk. 2,46,040 crore, outstripping woven garments, which increased by 33.82% to $19.4 billion or Tk. 2,05,741 crore approximately. This surge in the apparel industry has had a great impact on Bangladesh’s economic development. The major foreign markets for Bangladesh’s RMG exports in FY22 were the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, and Belgium. 2. Jute and Jute Products Bangladesh is one of the leading exporters of jute and jute products in the world. The country has a long history of jute cultivation and manufacture, dating back to the colonial era. Bangladesh’s jute industry is in the middle of a period of immense success. Read More: Export of jute products a boon for Satkhira women.
BGMEA eyes expanding RMG exports to Japan
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has said the country's apparel industry has continued its efforts to explore new and promising markets like Japan and seize every available opportunity. BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said: "We have been carrying out apparel diplomacy and trade missions to find new opportunities for Bangladesh's RMG industry and realise untapped potential." Faruque made the observations while exchanging views with Hajime Suzuki, chief director of International Sales and Marketing at RX Japan, in Dhaka Monday (January 23, 2023). Kurena Watabe of RX Japan was also present. Read: RMG manufacturer CKDL partners with Singapore firm to ensure workers' financial wellness RX Japan is a leading exhibition organiser in Japan. The two sides discussed possible collaboration between BGMEA and RX Japan to initiate trade communication between businessmen in Bangladesh and Japan, particularly those involved in the fashion industry. Bangladeshi businessmen would be able to showcase strengths and capabilities by participating in apparel exhibitions in Japan while Japanese buyers and investors would get the opportunity to explore their trade potential in Bangladesh, they said. Read more: BGMEA, Jetro want to expand Japan-Bangladesh trade
BGMEA, AUW join hands to create higher education opportunities for female garment workers
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Asian University for Women (AUW) have entered into a new partnership to pave the way for female garment workers in Bangladesh to fulfill their dreams of higher studies. BGMEA and AWU will collaborate to expand, enhance and promote the education, leadership and empowerment of female garment workers in Bangladesh. BGMEA President Faruque Hassan and Vice Chancellor of AUW Dr Rubana Huq inked the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on behalf of their respective sides at a hotel in Chattogram on Sunday (January 22, 2023). Also Read: 2022 was a year of turning around: BGMEA From BGMEA, first Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam, Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Directors Asif Ashraf, Md. Mohiuddin Rubel and M Ahsanul Hoq, Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on UD-Woven & Knit Md Nurul Islam while from AUW its Founder Kamal Ahmad, Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr Beena Khurana, Board of Trustee Member Catherine Watters-Sasanuma, Board Member of AUW Support Foundation Kathy Matsui, and acting Dean of Students Suman Chatterjee were present at the MoU signing ceremony. The collaboration aims to create an opportunity for more female workers from Bangladesh’s garment factories to study higher education at AUW free of cost with support from their respective employers. Under the new partnership, BGMEA will cooperate with AUW to facilitate enrolment of 500 qualified females working in RMG factories in Bangladesh in AUW’s five-year university education “Pathways for Promise” program. Read More: Chattogram BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology starts journey Pathways for Promise, an initiative within the AUW and BGMEA, provides free education to talented women from among Bangladeshi garment factory workers. Already over 90 girls, who are RMG workers, are studying at AUW. During the years of studying, the factory authorities pay regular monthly salary to the workers enrolled in AUW so that their families do not face any hardship, according to BGMEA. AUW provides each Pathways scholar a financial aid package that fully covers all costs of room, board, tuition, books and supplies, primary health care and other basic needs throughout the entire duration of her participation in the Pathways for Promise Program. Read More: Safe Digital Space: AUW, UNDP to promote intercommunal, religious harmony BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said the RMG industry is not only the biggest of export earnings but also a means for millions of people to fulfill their dreams. “The Pathways for Promise is a glowing example of how the RMG industry contributes to women realizing their dreams, earning dignity in family and society with education and employment,” he said. “I believe, through today’s MoU signing ceremony, we will take the partnership between AUW and BGMEA to another level and we will be able to contribute more,” he added. Read More: HSBC, AUW launch one-year master of science in apparel, retail management programme Only women who have completed high school are eligible to apply and have to take selection exams. Those who passed are interviewed and successful get admission to the university for higher studies.
Bangladesh, Vietnam can thrive together in RMG, says Pham Viet Chien
Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien has said Bangladesh and his country can complement each other for the development of the apparel industry and reap mutual trade benefits. Pham called on Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan in Dhaka Monday (January 16, 2023). Read more: Bangladesh, Vietnam eye $2 billion trade in 2023 They discussed the present market situation in readymade garments (RMG), global trends and opportunities while sharing how both countries were addressing their challenges. Pham and Faruque also talked about possible avenues of working together to unlock mutual trade potential through meaningful collaboration. They emphasised the exchange of experience and expertise in the apparel industries of Bangladesh and Vietnam. Read more: Vietnam honours three Bangladeshis for promoting people-to-people ties Pham and Faruque showed interest in facilitating the sharing of knowledge and expertise in the apparel and textile industries through collaboration between the BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) and Vietnamese apparel trade associations and fashion institutes.
Nigerian delegation discusses Dhaka-Abuja trade potential with BGMEA
A delegation comprising high officials of different ministries of the Nigerian government paid a visit to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan in Dhaka Monday (January 16, 2023). The delegation included Abubakar Aliyu Aziz, director general of the National Identity Management Commission, MaskaUbale Ahmed Shehi, executive commissioner of the Communications Commission, Alhassan Haru, director of Communications Commission, and Roberts Moses Achanya, president of the Nigeria-Bangladesh Trade and Technology Forum. BGMEA Director Barrister Vidiya Amrit Khan, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association Vice-President Fazlee Shamim Ehsan and Fakir Fashion Managing Director Fakir Kamruzzaman Nahid were also present. Read more: Bangladesh, Nigeria to explore possibility of signing framework agreement on FTA or PTA They had discussions about possible areas of collaboration between Bangladesh and Nigeria for bilateral trade benefits, particularly in the apparel and textile industry. Faruque said there is potential to import more cotton from Nigeria which is a cotton-producing nation. "Nigeria is also a potential market for Bangladesh's apparel export." He called upon the Nigerian government to reduce import duty on readymade garments (RMG) from Bangladesh and requested cooperation from the delegation in this regard. Read More: Bangladesh, Nigeria to explore possibility of signing framework agreement on FTA or PTA