Kazi Azizul Islam
Although Canadian import of apparels slowed down this year, Bangladesh’s garment export to that North American country has posted a satisfactory growth rate, say officials at the exporters’ associations.
Diversion of a portion of Canadian apparel imports from China to Bangladesh in the past few months helped the exporters, they pointed out.
In January-October, Bangladesh’s readymade garment export to Canada grew by more than 12 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year, says a report.
The report of the Canadian trade department which New Age has obtained from the Export Promotion Bureau shows Bangladesh apparel exports to Canada amounting to $484 million in the period.
In January-October, Canada’s import of apparels amounted to $7.14 billion, registering only a three per cent year-on-year growth.
Bangladesh is the second largest source of Canadian imports of readymade garments after China. Apparels account for more than 85 per cent of Bangladesh’s total export earnings coming from Canada.
Last year Bangladesh experienced less than 4 per cent growth in its apparel export earnings from Canada, due to a strong resistance from China, exporters argue.
With an 18 per cent year-on-year growth, China occupied more than half of the $7.3 billion plus Canadian market of imported apparels in 2007. But, in January-October 2008 Chinese exporters saw less than four per cent growth, the report says.
Among other top apparel exporting countries to Canada, USA saw 8 per cent growth in shipment to Canada in the current year, India minus 10 per cent growth, and Mexico minus 4 per cent.
Earlier in 2004, Bangladesh’s RMG exporters saw a robust growth in Canadian market as Canada provided duty-free market access, with relaxed rules of origin, to Bangladesh and other least developed countries.
The export of made-in-Bangladesh garments jumped to $347 million that year from the $217 million of the previous year.