The garment industry has been leading the country’s export earnings and employment for many years. However, product diversity in this sector has not increased according to the demand of the international market. Bangladesh is still in the second position in the world market by exporting cheap and cotton garments. But the country’s entrepreneurs are lagging behind the rapidly growing demand for synthetic yarn in the market. Cotton T-shirts, shirts, trousers, jerseys or pullovers cover the lion’s share of exports. However, the demand for synthetic and polyester synthetic yarn garments is increasing in the world market as they are durable and fashionable.
According to the International Market Research Organization, the demand for cotton yarn has declined in the last ten years. According to Fiber to Fashion magazine, the demand for non-cotton or synthetic yarn has increased from 60.5% to 62.3% in the last ten years. In contrast, the demand for cotton yarn has decreased.
The size of the world market for synthetic yarn garments is about 15 trillion dollars. Where the occupation of Bangladesh is only 2 percent. In the outgoing year, such garments were exported from Bangladesh to the tune of Tk 300 crore. However, overall, Bangladesh is second in the world with 7.8 percent share in clothing.
Entrepreneurs say concerted action is needed to boost high-value garment exports.
Shahidullah Azim, former vice-president of BGMEA, told Samay Sangbad that synthetic T-shirts can be sold at three times the price of a cotton T-shirt. Which takes the same amount of time to create. However, setting up such factories requires several times more investment than ordinary garment factories. There are issues of importing advanced technology machineries. In these cases, special policy support of the government will be required. Entrepreneurs will come forward if they give loans to these industries at low interest from special funds. Now it is being considered that loans are being given at 9 percent. But the real picture is that there are many hidden costs (which are not directly mentioned) that match the interest rate beyond 12 percent. It is difficult to compete with this interest competing country. Because interest rates are much lower in China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka. About 75 per cent of the country’s net garments and 35 per cent of the oven garments are supplied by local factories, but only 15 to 20 per cent of the yarns and fabrics produced are synthetic or synthetic.
Meanwhile, economists are highlighting the challenge of increasing local raw materials and technological capabilities to boost garment exports.
CPD research director. Khandaker Golam Moazzem said the budget has exempted synthetic and specialized garments. Cash incentives are being given to the garment industry. But if there are demands from entrepreneurs outside of this, I would say the current incentive structure is not enough to encourage entrepreneurs to make new investments. Since we want to increase the capacity of high cost synthetic clothing. Therefore, without giving this incentive to everyone, 2 percent cash incentive can be given for specialized garment factories with that money. Another thing is that the entrepreneurs of this country want to see if anyone is doing well in taking any initiative. Many times they are afraid to take risks. So in the case of synthetic clothing, foreign investment can be tried. Investors in a number of countries, including China and Japan, can be encouraged in such industries in the economic zones that are being set up. When the entrepreneurs of the country see that the foreigners are doing well here, they will also come forward with more enthusiasm. They actually want role models in any sector.
He said that as a developing country, the loss of tariffs would increase the competition in the garment sector of Bangladesh in the world market, the value of the garment production can be added to the value added.