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Bangladesh overtakes China in knitwear exports to EU: Eurostat


For the first time ever, Bangladesh’s knitwear garment exports to the EU overtook China’s during the January-September 2023 period. The surge was observed both in terms of value and volume of exports. 

Figures from Eurostat show, Bangladesh’s knitwear garment exports to the EU surged to $9 billion during the nine-month period as against $8.96 billion exports by China. 

Bangladesh achieved this feat by exporting higher value-added garment items, particularly activewear, says Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA. 

However, on a Y-o-Y basis, Bangladesh’s knitwear exports to the EU declined by 20.94 per cent as demand slackened and inflation rates in the EU rose 

Knitwear sector in the EU experienced a 17.71 per cent decline in imports amounting to €31.94 billion during the January-September period compared to the previous year, Eurostat data shows.

Sluggish demand for apparel products led to a 17.66 per cent Y-o-Y decline in apparel imports by the region, totaling €13.69 billion.

The industry should focus on non-cotton-based athleisure items for exports in future, advises Hassan. It should also remain committed to responsible and sustainable manufacturing, setting a global example, he adds.

Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, Vice President, BKMEA, attributes Bangladesh's rise a leading exporter to China's shift away from low-end products and Bangladesh's successful establishment of strong backward linkages.

The country continues to outperform its competitors, despite a 23.33 per cent Y-o-Y decline to $5.78 billion in apparel exports to the United States, adds Hassan. 

He attributes the recent slowdown to a gloomy global economic outlook, predicting a challenging year for the apparel trade in 2023.



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