Bangladeshi garment industry back to pre-pandemic levels
Bangladeshi apparel exports were worth $35.8 billion in 2021 (€33.05 billion). This was equivalent to a 30% increase over fiscal 2020, a year that was severely affected by lockdowns and order cancellations. It was also an increase of 8.2% over 2019, marking the Bangladeshi industry’s long-awaited return to pre-crisis levels.
Notably, Bangladesh’s textile/apparel sector currently accounts for 81.16% of the country’s exports, up from 78.2% a decade earlier. The European Union (plus the UK) remains by far the first client for Bangladeshi garments, having placed orders worth €20 billion (up by 27.74%).
Historically, the EU's second largest supplier after China, Bangladesh’s main client countries in Europe are Germany (importing goods worth €5.7 billion), the UK (with €3.5 billion), Spain (€2.3 billion), and France (€1.8 billion).
The U.S. was instead the destination for nearly 20% of Bangladesh’s apparel exports, with orders worth €6.67 billion last year (a 43.62% increase).
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) also provided information about the types of clothing that were exported in 2021. Woven products generated €14.9 billion in exports, while knitted products exports were worth €18.1 billion.
In the fiscal year that closed at the end of June 2021, Bangladeshi manufacturers reported exporting mainly trousers and jeans (for €9.8 billion), knitted t-shirts and shirts (€6.6 billion), sweaters (€3.8 billion), cotton shirts and blouses (€1.84 billion) and underwear (€1.64 billion).
Before the pandemic, aware that the industry was too focused on certain products, the head of BGMEA told FashionNetwork.com they had identified five product categories on which to focus, including hooded jackets, athleisure apparel and lingerie.
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