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Last Updated:[08-10-2010 03:17:57 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Bangladesh to Gain from Lankan Absence in EU Apparel Market

tradenews Sri Lanka being excised from the Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status from the EU is reported to allow Bangladesh to exploit the space as it is a competing entity to the Lankan ready-made garment industry. According to The Daily Star, the largest subscribed English daily of Bangladesh stated the country was enjoying the benefits of the EU decision to withdraw zero-tariff from Sri Lanka, among other factor helped garment export growth.

The GSP+ status gives 16 poor nations preferential access to the EU in return for strict adherence to human rights and democratic principles. Sri Lanka lost EU's GSP+ duty free entry for violating international covenants relating to human and civil rights while exacting ethnic control over Tamil diaspora. However, statistics indicate after the loss of GSP+ status, Sri Lanka has not been impacted much though the period is too short to analyse it in detail.

The recent figures from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh show exports of readymade garments have surged past the export target in the first two months of the current fiscal. Bangladesh exported knitwear worth $1.6bn against $1.21bn target in July and August, 31 percent up over the same period a year earlier. The country exported woven garments worth $1.31bn overtaking a target of $1.12bn, up 17 percent during the months in context.

An industry observer said the unexpected sales post-recession was also owing to various issues faced by other players in the EU market including Pakistan and China. Ahsan Kabir Khan, MD of Interfab Shirt Manufacturing Ltd pointed out that China had been suffering from shortages of low-wage workers, and Pakistan with devastating floods.

A Spanish buyer requesting anonymity told the Bangladeshi daily that "We're now taking shipments against orders which were placed earlier. This might be a cause for exceeding the target." He further added but it was also true that many international buyers were now placing orders in Bangladesh for its low prices.

By Jose Roy

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