From being an importer of garment accessories, Bangladesh has effectuated a spectacular turnaround by improving its export figures on garment accessories by a whopping 66.67 percent compared to the previous year, with the net export figure touching the USD 1 billion mark.
Prior to this phase of accessories export, Bangladesh used to import garment accessories from China and Hong Kong. With initiative taken by local garment manufacturers partly for domestic demand and partly for the export market, things have undergone a sea change. Bangladesh has begun sourcing these items. The key markets for these accessories are international garment making nations including African countries.
In fact, the local accessory manufacturers of Bangladesh though a new entrant in the global market, have succeeded in making a good impact and transporting shipments to Chinese dominated zones. The manufacturers deal with accessories that are integral part of apparel items to countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Garment accessories include items like zippers, labels, buttons, price tags and washing instructions. These items get integrated with the garment before it comes out in the finished format.
Talking about quantum of usage of accessories in garments, industry insiders disclosed that for an item like a T-Shirt, nearly 15 percent of the price it fetches is accounted for by this category. Currently, Bangladesh has nearly 1600 factories producing accessories and several of these factories are directly exporting to the overseas markets.
The Bangladesh Garment Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) recently released figures for export in the previous years for accessories. According to the figures supplied to the local media, Bangladesh earned USD 600 million in 2015-16 and USD 300 million in the year before that.
In fact, leading garment exporters like the chairman of the Dekko group, Shahdat Hossain Kiron have pitched in for the opportunities offered by accessories, stating “The prospect of direct accessories export is very bright.”
He further disclosed that he began exporting accessories as some of the international buyers in the market have insisted that garment making countries besides Bangladesh have to make use of the accessories made in his factory.
He cited the instance of buyers who had placed work orders from factories located in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Myanmar. These buyers want the factories to use accessories that are sourced from Bangladesh, he disclosed. In the previous fiscal year, Kiron had succeeded in exporting accessories to the tune of USD 5 million. The figures reveal a startling trend as Kiron is a relative new comer to the accessories business. He is however, established in the garment business and is supplying items to C&A, M&S, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger and Next.
Mohamed Abdul Kader Khan, President of BGAPMEA disclosed that the local manufacturers have invested a total of BDT 30,0000 crores in the garment accessories sector. In addition, currently the accessories sector is employing a work force of 4.5 lakh people and is playing a key role as a support industry to garments which are the main exports of Bangladesh.