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Bangladesh’s garment exports to recover pre-Covid levels by October

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez

Jun 1, 2021

Garment export might make a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels by October this year as shipments are rebounding with the reopening of Western retail stores.

“The trend of garment shipment is good with the rise in demand in the Western world,” said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), in a press briefing on Monday. “I hope the full recovery of exports from the garment sector will be by October this year,” he said.

Between July and April, receipts were up 6.24 percent year-on-year to 26 billion dollars. Of those, 13.99 billion dollars came from knitwear, which registered 15.34 percent year-on-year growth. Earnings from woven fell 2.71 percent to 12 billion dollars.

The president of BGMEA explains this shift pointing out that knitwear shipment is increasing as people are spending more time indoors and demanding comfortable clothing. On the flipside, demand for woven garment, such as formal shirts and trousers, has fallen (it declined by more than 10 percent.)

“We are hopeful because majority of the people in the U.S. have already completed the vaccination and the consumers started going to the retail outlets which indicates that the economy is rolling on,” added Hassan, further stressing that “…and thus the demand for consumer items, especially for garment items, is going up,” said Hassan. Currently, the U.S. is the single largest destination for Bangladesh’s garment export, with nearly 6.5 billion dollars’ worth of garment items being shipped in a year.

European retailers and brands have started reopening stores while consumers are spending more, for which demand for Bangladeshi garment items has also been growing.