Bangladesh’s export earnings witnessed a robust 24 per cent rise in July 2013 compared to July 2012, thanks to a significant growth in the shipment of readymade garments.The garment sector witnessed negative growth in July 2012 but one year later, in July 2013, the growth has turned positive. In July 2012, export growth was only 4.26 per cent against the earnings in July 2011.
Government officials and garment manufacturers have termed the growth as excellent considering the recession and recent incidents in the apparel sector that have drawn huge local and international attention. Bangladesh has sent trade delegations to new markets like China, Japan, Africa and Latin America to reduce the dependency on the European Union and US markets. It’s also focusing to diversify into products like leather, shrimp and light engineering products.
However the low-cost country retains its allure for cost-crunching global retailers despite deadly incidents. Duty-free access to western markets and low wages has helped make Bangladesh the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China. From spinning to weaving, from knitwear to leisurewear and high street fashions, the textiles and clothing industry is Bangladesh’s biggest export earner. The country’s garment industry employs four million workers and generates 80 per cent of Bangladesh's export earnings.