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Bangladesh has registered a 40% hike in its apparel exports in the last six months, with increased exports to India and new markets wrested from global leader China, according to Sify.com.

With many importers switching from China (due to higher cost), Bangladesh has new destinations such as Japan, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some Latin American countries, the report said. Sify is an internent marketing solutions provider.

Readymade garments and knitwear exports are Bangladesh’s highest export earners. The total exports were $12.19 billion against the $10.27 billion target. The annual export target has been set at $18.5 billion for fiscal 2010-11.

The sector, however, is plagued by poor wages and working conditions that have frequently provoked workers to take to the streets.

With manufacturers exerting pressures on the government for more concessions, a wage increase that the government oversaw last year is yet to be fully enforced.

The exports are set to rise in coming months, as manufacturers have already bagged bigger orders than before.

“The garment exports will increase thanks to the EU’s relaxed rules of origin under the generalised system of preferences,” according to Jalal Ahmed, vice-chairman of state-owned Export Promotion Bureau.

He said the trend indicates that Bangladesh’ garment export will grow even higher. The country has also developed quality high-end products for some new export destinations such as Japan.

The government data shows Bangladesh exported knitwear worth $5.07 billion during the July-January period of the current fiscal year, registering 43.22%t growth compared with the same period a year ago. In the seven-month period, the country exported woven garments worth $4.38 billion, a 39.09% rise. — Source: www.sify.com

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