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Bangladesh: Garment exports to India soared 66.41 per cent in first six months

On the back of demand from Western brands operating in the neighboring country and closure of some small- and medium-scale factories garment exports to India soared 66.41 per cent in the first six months of the fiscal year between July and December last year. Garment shipments to India fetched $111.33 million, reveals data from the Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh.

The reason for the spike, is global retail giants like H&M and Walmart have started sourcing apparel from Bangladesh for Indian consumers. The shuting of a horde of small and medium factories all over India for their failure to maintain strict compliance requirements and pay higher wages over the last two years also played a part in the surge in shipments from Bangladesh.

Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the cost of importing garment items to India from other countries is high, due to which Western retailers have started sourcing apparel from Bangladesh in big volumes. Siddiqur Rahman, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association says apart from Western retailers, some Indian retail giants have also been sourcing garment in big volumes from Bangladesh.

Although the majority of Bangladeshi goods enjoy duty-free benefit in the Indian market, garment exports to India did not rise much over the last few years due to the imposition of 12.5 per cent countervailing duty on items from Bangladesh. Bangladeshi exporters also face provincial taxes and non-tariff barriers in India, which has an apparel market worth nearly $40 billion. Nevertheless, garment exports to India have shown signs of pickup compared to 2017.