Bangladesh is currently holding the 2nd position in the world Knitwear Market. Though China has led this market for a long period of time, countries such as India, Vietnam and Turkey are strong competitors.
A H Aslam Sunny is the Managing Director of CRONY group and eight of its sister concern companies. He has served as the Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BKMEA) and the Senior Vice President of the Bangladesh Volleyball Federation. Sunny has received a number of accolades, which include the Banking Award, SSE Award and the Gold Award for “Inclusive Skill Development” from GIZ, Bangladesh.
Knitting is an integral part of the RMG and overall exports of Bangladesh. During the FY 2014-25, the Bangladesh Knitting Industry (BKI) comprised of 48.75% share in the RMG export. We are confident that with market diversification activities, the innovative approaches of the BKMEA and policy support and financial assistance from the government, we can surpass the Woven Garment Industry.
The Knitting industry could always meet the standards of the Rules of Origin (ROR) set by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Following the WTO 10th Ministerial Conference, we have decided that we must expand our reaches to the Plurilateral Free Trade Agreements, which comprises of 12 countries who hold 40% of the World GDP.
Bangladesh is currently holding the 2nd position in the world Knitwear Market. Though China has led this market for a long period of time, countries such as India, Vietnam and Turkey are strong competitors. India’s strengths lie in the consistent cotton production within their country and backward linked factories functioning in a productive manner. Turkey has captured many of the retails brands in the Middle East as a result of well-rooted plans and proper execution. An independent medium size RMG firm can design 50- 150 products on a daily basis in Turkey. There are also potential countries where RMG is rising such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
We have conducted extensive research and according to the BKMEA studies, Bangladesh must expand the industry to retail branding in the near future; they will not be able to cope with the transformations that the world RMG market is going through or meet the standards of Sustainable Development Goal initiated by the United Nations.
Unfortunately the industry could not reach the targeted growth for the last FY 2014-15 due to some situations of de-facto and de-jure. Our biggest markets are the EU and the United States of America, with a respective growth rate of 1.9% and 9.96%. We have only experienced an overall growth of 4.11% because we are mostly associated with traditional markets. This is an indication that we must explore our emerging markets especially Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Australia is an emerging market for the BKMEA sector and according to our research, it has grown 23.88% during the FY 2014-15. Australia currently has an embargo on airfreight from Bangladesh; we are hampering the export business of Bangladesh by not taking measures to rectify this issue.
We are attempting to enhance the efficiency of the entire force from the factory level workers to the managerial bodies with the implementation of the Skills for Employment Investment Programs (SEIP). This initiative has drastically improved the capacity and quality over the past two years. Moreover, the Instituteof Applied Research & Technology (IART), which was established by BKMEA, is working in cooperation with Productivity Improvement Cell and Social Compliance Cell to further enhance productivity and ensure safety within the workplace.
The industry has made significant progress, but the time has come for more refined designing institutes that can comply to the diverse demands of fashion.