Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry Deputy General Manager Manfred Junkert said that garment exports to Germany, the second largest export destination for Bangladeshi apparel after the US, will continue to grow in future due to the high quality of products and competitive prices.
Speaking at a press conference organised on the sidelines of the Heimtextil fair in Frankfurt, Germany, he said that Germany would continue with its duty preference for Bangladeshi textile exports.
As per Export Promotion Bureau figures, Bangladesh’s garment exports to Germany have been increasing over the years. Bangladesh exported garments worth US$ 4.65 billion to Germany in fiscal 2015-16, US$ 4.33 billion in 2014-15 and US$ 4.37 billion in 2013-14, according to the Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh.
He said that ‘Brexit’ is a serious issue for Germany, which is among the major trading partners for the country. “If the UK leaves us, there is a possibility of serious consequences for Germany. Brexit may take a long time to become effective, but our industry will suffer,” he said.
Incidentally, UK is the third largest export destination for Bangladesh after US and Germany, with Bangladesh shipping apparel worth more than US$ 3 billion to UK a year.
As a trade bloc, EU is the largest garment export destination for Bangladesh, offering a zero-duty benefit since its existence. Bangladesh exported garments worth US$ 17.15 billion to the EU in fiscal 2015-16, US$ 15.36 billion in 2014-15 and US$ 14.75 billion in 2013-14, according to Export Promotion Bureau figures.
Junkert said that negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have broken down after Donald Trump was elected as US President. “Usually, signing a free trade agreement takes six to seven years. We may have to wait more than this time to sign the TTIP. It now depends on the US government,” he said.