Garment exports in Bangladesh are gaining ground in non-traditional markets. In fact non-traditional markets are rising faster than traditional ones. In fiscal 2012-13, Bangladesh’s garment exports to non-traditional markets such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and so on rose 29 per cent year-on-year. In contrast, exports to traditional markets of the US, Canada and European Union were up 10.93 per cent year-on-year.
In 2009, Bangladesh introduced a financial package to encourage garment manufacturers to explore new destinations. Under the scheme, the government gave 5 per cent cash incentives to exporters in fiscal 2009-10, 4 per cent in fiscal 2010-11 and 2 per cent in fiscal 2011-12. Exporters are still receiving 2 per cent cash incentive for exporting to new destinations.
During this period, some countries have given duty-access to Bangladesh. Japan relaxed the Rules of Origin from April 1, 2011, which boosted exports to the country. Similarly, India extended zero-duty benefit to all products except 25 alcoholic and drug items from November 2011. In 2011, China also gave duty benefits to Bangladesh on export of 4,721 products which include garments. Chile has announced duty-free benefits for all Bangladeshi products from January next year. South Korea has also given duty benefits to some Bangladeshi garment items.