Bangladesh garment manufacturers said Sunday they have targetted Japan as their next big market to offset a drop in orders from the United States and Europe caused by the global financial crisis.
?Bangladesh plans to raise the value of its textile exports to Japan to $1 billion over the next two years, a senior business leader said on Thursday.
“Now we are fully prepared to attract more and more buyers from Japan which will help to grow our market many folds day by day,” said Mohammad Fazlul Hoque, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturer and Exporter Association (BKMEA).
“A massive black cloud has gathered over our heads,” said Fazlul Hoque, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).
?”Orders in September have fallen by 10 percent, and the indications are there that the industry will experience a sharp decline like the one we experienced immediately after 9/11 in 2001,” he said.
Bangladesh exports only $50 million worth of ready-made garments to Japan which annually consumes $23 billion worth of ready-made garments, mostly importing from China, Fazlul said.
“Recently we, along with other textile entrepreneurs, visited Japan and did several interactions with most of the leading textile importers who committed to increase trade volume with us,” Fazlul told reporters.
He said that BKMEA would organize a 3-day international exhibition from Monday to present the products to the potential importers and about 150 buyers across the world will participate.
Most of the leading textile importers from Japan and also buyers from the United States, China, India, Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Belgium will participate in this showcase, he said.
“Japan is the world’s fourth largest garment importer. Yet last year we exported 6.4 million dollars’ worth of apparel there, against Japan’s total import of around 9.3 billion dollars,” he said.
“We have to enter the Japanese market at any cost to survive the coming storm. We have identified that in four out of ten top Japanese apparel items, we have huge price advantages,” he added.
The group, whose members generate nearly 55 percent of the country’s entire clothing exports, has invited ten top Japanese buyers this year to inspect Bangladeshi factories.
Readymade garments, which account for 80 percent of total exports, earned more than $11 billion in the last fiscal year.
Bangladesh has set 13 percent higher export target of $17.6 billion for the current fiscal year to end June 2010.
Bangladesh’s overall exports grew 10.3 percent to $15.56 billion in the 2008/09 fiscal year, down 4.76 percent from the previous year and the lowest growth in six years, following the global slowdown.
Earnings from knit textiles from July to June of the previous fiscal year (2008/09) rose 16.2 percent to $6.4 billion while exports of woven garments rose 14.5 percent to $5.9 billion in the same year.
The garment trade is the backbone of Bangladesh’s manufacturing industry, accounting for 80 percent of total exports and 40 percent of industrial jobs.