Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla said recently that manufacturing is increasingly shifting to countries in South and Southeast Asia due to cost advantages.
He said that India and Bangladesh need to work together to take advantage of these opportunities by creating as well as strengthening cross border value chains at a time when rapid economic growth and rising disposable incomes are contributing to fast growth in apparel consumption in developing countries.
The Indian High Commissioner was speaking at a technical symposium about ‘Current Trends In Textiles’ organised by Grasim Industries Ltd (Aditya Birla Group) in Dhaka recently. The readymade garments (RMG) sector in Bangladesh has seen impressive growth over the years accounting for more than 80% of the total export earnings of the country, he said.
After India granted duty free quota free access to Bangladesh in 2011, RMG exports to India have more than doubled to US $136.4 million in 2015-16 from US $55 million in 2011-12, he said. In 2015-16, Bangladesh’s RMG exports to India grew by 31%, while Bangladesh’s overall exports to India also increased by 30.82% at the same time, he said.
India also supplies a large part of critical inputs such as cotton and manmade fibres, yarn and fabric, and chemicals to the Bangladesh RMG industry. As the industry strives to meet the target of exporting US $50 billion per year by 2021, its linkages with the Indian textiles industry will be critical, he said.
India possesses huge capacities for producing yarn and fabric and is also amongst the largest manufacturers of manmade fibres, yarn and fabric, besides being the top cotton producer in the world, he said, adding that India is ideally positioned to supply these inputs at lower prices and with lower lead times to the Bangladesh RMG industry.
He said that manmade fibres and technical textiles are already amongst the fastest growing areas in the Indian textiles industry, and India can also meet Bangladesh’s demand for these items. He urged Bangladesh to invest in India to take full advantage of the growth and size of the Indian market of 1.3 billion people.
Earlier, India invited the Bangladesh RMG industry to attend ‘Textiles India 2017’ which will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from June 30 to July 2. The Indian High Commissioner hoped that the Bangladesh RMG industry would participate in the expo.