Bangladesh Retains Its Spot In Global Apparel Trade

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With robust growth in August, Bangladesh is now rebounding

Bangladesh’s apparel exports during January-June 2020 totalled US$ 12.71 billion. This was 36.63 % lower than in the same period of last year, according to International Trade Centre (ITC) data.  Even with the slower exports, Bangladesh remained the second largest apparel supplier to the world, after China.

Vietnam was closely trailing Bangladesh in apparel exports during the same period. From January-June 2020, Vietnam’s garment exports were to the tune of US$ 11.96 billion, a fall of 17.44%. Vietnam was the third largest supplier of apparel to the world.

In overall T&C exports, Vietnam has surpassed Bangladesh by 15.30%. Vietnam’s T&C exports totalled US$ 15.34 billion, while Bangladesh fetched an export value of US$ 13.34 billion during January-June 2020.

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Bangladeshi exporters blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for the drop in apparel exports. The country had announced a lockdown in March and April, which resulted in exports being impacted and inventory piling up.

The good news is that exports have begun picking up since the last month. More importantly, Bangladeshi exporters were able to ship good size of pending orders, cancelled orders in August.

In comparison, during the same period March-June, Vietnam did not have to stop manufacturing operations as the country was not as badly impacted by the pandemic. The country sealed borders and took all safety measures to face Covid-19 pandemic. Economists have stated that the pandemic infact, has helped Vietnam capture work orders from the China. In addition, the FTA with European Union has helped the country to have better performance in the export market.

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In the last two months, the garment export performance of Bangladesh has improved month-over-month (MoM). For both the months i.e. July and August, exports totalled to US$ 3.24 billion individually. While year-over-year (Y-o-Y) the apparel exports in August 2020 witnessed a strong growth of 45.29%, as compared to the sharp drop of 85.38% in April 2020, with lowest exports of US$ 0.37 billion.

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