Bangladesh’s readymade garment sector faces a series of challenges. Less-than-satisfactory performance with on standard and compliance issues, lack of branding and coordination among authorities are among the issues.
Other challenges include dependence on import of raw materials, inadequate supply of utilities, high costs of transport services, limited facilities in ports, lack of interest in financing small and medium producers, administrative and regulatory constraints, unhealthy competition and pricing.
A harmonised and targeted approach needs to be taken toward branding. There is a need for diversification. Five products account for 74 per cent of total readymade garment exports. Bangladesh’s exports are heavily dependent on markets of the European Union, the US and Canada, which account for some 63 per cent, 18 per cent and three per cent of total readymade garment exports. Among new and potential markets for the country are South Asia, Oceania, CIS and Latin America. The move towards upgradation and high-end products could include suits, blazers, lingerie, jackets, swimwear, sportswear, uniforms, raincoats and fishing wear.
The country lags behind international competitors like India, Vietnam and Sri Lanka in terms of efficient production. However, an industry-friendly environment, marked by availability of sufficient manpower, exists across the country.