There is a radical shift in South East Asia as Bangladesh is all set to edge out China and become the largest supplier of apparels to the European Union. This shift comes in wake of China becoming more expensive as a result of rising labor costs.
Shifts are not isolated to South East Asia as even American markets are attempting creation of apparels through automation locally. Besides other countries are looking for greener pastures like Ethiopia. However, the shift in favor of Bangladesh in South East Asia is very pronounced.
American trade journals indicated that Bangladesh will overshadow China by the year 2020 if the prevailing trend continues. The apparel exports from Bangladesh to the EU have experienced a steep rise over the past decade and odd. According to statistics made available from the journal, it has risen from 12.2 percent to 23.4 percent.
Meanwhile, rising labor costs has kept China on bay with their export basket shrinking continuously. The cheapness of Bangladesh’s apparel pricing allied with duty free exports due to implementation of UN regulation on least developed countries and also no ceiling on quotas, has placed Bangladesh comfortably to capture the top of the chart.
However, Bangladesh is yet to conquer its local problems like fire, health and safety of workers that has been plaguing it for quite a while now. It may be recalled that the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has been pressing for a new regulatory body to monitor these parameters even as the term of the global monitor is set to expire.