Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter globally and India is the second largest backward linkage supplier, there is a huge opportunity to boost bilateral trade, and both parties need to set up a road map to cash in on this.
The observations came from a discussion at the Textile Source Meet 2023 – Dhaka, jointly organised by BGMEA, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), Bangladesh Garment Executive Association, and SOWTEX at the ICCB of the capital on Sunday.
Textile and apparel sector leaders and manufacturers from both India and Bangladesh participated in the two-day event, which started on Saturday.
During the discussion, BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim said, “After China, India is the second largest supplier of raw materials to Bangladesh’s RMG sector.
“Apparel manufacturers now want to reduce imports from China and increase from India as the latter is our closest neighbour.”
“The port-related issues must be solved and the congestion of Petrapole-Benapole needs to be reduced in order to ensure a smooth trade,” he added.
HAMS Group Managing Director Shafiqur Rahman said, “Indian raw materials have potential in Bangladesh’s RMG sector due to the short lead time. Bangladesh is importing machinery and dye chemicals from India along with yarn, fabrics, and raw cotton.
Sparrow Group’s Managing Director Shovon Islam said that it is possible by the hard-work of both parties and the suppliers working together with the importers.
He said, “I want to urge you all to visit the factories and it will change your perception about Bangladesh. This is not the country it was five or 10 years ago. We have transformed ourselves. The factories in Bangladesh are world-class.”
“The way they do the packaging, the automation, and the software system are all updated. Now we urge you to have some design collaborations if you can,” he added.
Panellists of the discussion also stated that the governments of both countries are sincerely working to resolve the problems towards fostering a smooth trade.
Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, vice president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and industry insiders from both countries also spoke at the panel discussion.
The event was moderated by Shefali Tripathi, director of Career Genii, India. She is working in the domain of human resources and spoke about the importance of learning and development at the middle and top management.