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14 April 2024

Apparel exports to Germany fall by 13.45pc

Jannatul Ferdushy 

Published: 08:11, 1 March 2024

Update: 08:12, 1 March 2024

Apparel exports to Germany fall by 13.45pc

Photo : Messenger

Germany, the biggest export destination for Bangladesh's readymade garments, has reduced imports of garments from the country by 13.45 percent during July-January due to prolonged stagflation caused by the global economic slowdown.

According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), garment exports to Germany dropped from $4.04 billion to $3.51 billion, while in Italy, the exports decreased by 1.81 percent to $1.33 billion from $1.35 billion in the mentioned period.

Data shows that although Bangladesh's RMG exports to Germany have decreased, other countries in the EU witnessed an escalation in RMG imports. However, overall RMG exports to the EU climbed by 1.32 percent.

Besides, Denmark imported $960 million, France $1.73 billion, the Netherlands $1.22 billion, Spain $2.16 billion, and Poland $1.11 billion from Bangladesh in July-January.

Surprisingly, these six countries in the EU imported $13.73 billion out of $28.36 billion in Bangladesh's exports during the seven months of the 2024 FY.

“We predicted that we would experience a fall during this period. In fact, we have been experiencing fluctuations in exports since last March. Germany is the biggest market for us. This time, the problem has hit the country severely as stagflation has been prolonged due to the economic slowdown caused by the war,” Shahidullah Azim, vice president of BGMEA, told The Daily Messenger.

“The reality has not been reflected in the data of the Export Promotion Bureau. The government cannot realise the crisis. Many of the factories will be shut down after December,” he said.

He also added, “We have drawn the attention of the central bank to reconsider the timeline for loan repayment, requesting them to extend the time for repaying the loan until June instead of January. Otherwise, exports will face severe challenges.”

Muhammad Hatem, executive president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said that if the government doesn't address the crisis, exports and imports will be affected throughout the year. The import of capital machinery has already declined by 22.6 percent as investors have almost stopped importing machinery for new factories.

“Aiming to attract new buyers, the BGMEA and BKMEA are working together to brand Bangladesh globally. New buyers are also reaching out to us,” he said.

Majharul Hassan, the managing director of JMS Garment Ltd, said, “Entrepreneurs are now interested in manmade fibre-based products. There are now many high-end woven factories in the country. We need policy support too.”

However, Bangladesh fetched $28.35 billion in July-January '24FY exporting denim, T-shirts, sweaters, blouses, underwear, etc.