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Textile Industry In Bangladesh

Textile Industry of Bangladesh plays a vital role in development of bangaladesh. Government Policies are suitable for industry. Furthermore Global partners are also positive for industry for various reasons which will push textile market further and we can see continuous growth of market.

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Definition / Scope

Textile is a fabric that's knitted or woven and made from yarn. Therefore, the textile industry is the business responsible for taking a raw material, like cotton or wool, and spinning it into yarn that is later used to create a fabric. All of the processes involved in the converting of the raw material into a finished product - developing, producing, manufacturing, and distributing textiles - are included in the industry.

The textile industry utilizes many different types of fabrics, but all of them can be broken down into two major categories, natural and synthetic.

  • Natural fabrics are those that occur naturally from things like animals (sheep, silkworms, alpacas) and plants (cotton and flax).
  • Synthetic fabrics are those that are created in a lab and are man-made. Some examples of synthetic fabrics include rayon, spandex, polyester, and nylon.

Market Overview

The importance of the textile industry in the economy of Bangladesh is crucial. The garments manufacturing sector earned $28.14 billion in 2017, one of the impoverished country's biggest industries. Presently this industry is facing great challenges in its growth rate. The key reasons for these challenges can be the global recession, harsh trade policies, internal security issues, the high cost of production due to increase in the energy costs, different safety issues specially fire, etc.

Depreciation of Bangladeshi Taka that significantly raised the cost of imported inputs, increase inflammation rate, and high cost of financing has also effected seriously the progress in the textile industry.

As a result neither the buyers are able to visit frequently Bangladesh nor are the exporters able to travel abroad for effectively promoting their products. With an in-depth analysis it was found that the Bangladesh textile industry can be brought on top winning track if government and others individuals takes serious actions in removing or normalizing the above mentioned hurdles. Furthermore, the government should provide subsidy to the textile industry, minimize the internal difference among the exporters, withdraw the withholding and sales taxes etc.

Purchasing new machinery or enhancing the quality of the existing machinery and introducing new technology can also be very useful in increasing the research and development (R and D) related activities that in the modern era are very important for increasing the industrial growth of a country.

Visio edit growth.PNG

Key Metrics

Metrics Value Explanation
Base Year 2017 Researched through internet

Market Risks

  • Security: Security has been the major risk factor for textile industries in Bangladesh. Workers have not been feeling secure in workplace from external and internal accidents.A deadly collapse at the Rana Plaza factory just outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, killed almost 1,200 garment workers in April 2013. The tragedy shone a bright light on the country’s widespread labor-rights enforcement failures. There are so many Accidents happened in Bangladesh Textile industry and government should take a major prevention step here.
  • Economic Downturn: Global economic downturn also affected the textile industries. Although affects was not big but it slowed down the peace. The demand for textile product cut down locally and internationally as well.No proper economic policies were implemented in bangladesh to reduce the effect of gloabl recession; at least none that succeeded. This caused a very high rate of inflation, the prices of commodities soared through the roof, the number of people living below poverty line increased from 60 million to 77 million.Lack of purchasing power and value of money ultimately reduced the demand of the garment products.
  • Political Instability: Bangladesh has hardly experienced any stability in its political matters. The unstable politics of Bangladesh has shown many sorts of violent, meaningless, destructive methods been used by the political parties.Current growth rate is around 3 percent which could be around 8-10% if the political condition was good.
  • Labor Law:The factory working condition was very poor in Bangladesh. Workers are constantly complaining for workplace harassment. Bangladeshi garment-makers continue to face "life-threatening" conditions in thousands of factories, five years after the collapse of a workshop that killed 1,134 people. That’s according to a study by New York University's Center for Business and Human Rights, which found that 3,000 of Bangladesh's 7,000 factories endanger the lives of their low-wage garment workers. Furthermore he current minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh is US$68 and was set in 2013; now the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council is demanding an increase to US$192. Labor law is not able to solve all these issues which may create big problems in near future.</small>
  • Opportunities for manpower in other country: Skilled Textile graduates are getting better offer from other countries. Wages of Bangladesh Textile Company is not as good as other foreign company which is attracting large pool of manpower from Bangladesh.Every year, around 500.000 Bangladeshis leave the country to work abroad

Top Market Opportunities

  • Special Economic Zones are attracting foreign investment: Bangladesh textile market is attracting big investor and companies by establishing special economic zone. Chinese fabric or textile makers can come closer to the Bangladeshi apparel manufacturers by setting up manufacturing plants in Bangladesh and helping achieving the target of the global brands in terms of faster lead time. The Bangladesh government is proposing all necessary infrastructure and facilities in the SEZs for overseas investor.Bangladesh government has taken an initiative to introduce a hundred SEZ throughout the country. As of March 2016, thirty seven government SEZs have acquired land and are under development. Eight non government SEZs are operational and under construction.Following are the list of SEZs in bangaladesh:
  • Adamjee Export Processing Zone, Siddhirganj, Narayanganj
  • Chittagong Export Processing Zone, South Halishahar, Chittagong
  • Comilla Export Processing Zone, Comilla
  • Dhaka Export Processing Zone, Savar, Dhaka
  • Ishwardi Export Processing Zone, Ishwardi, Pabna
  • Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone, North Patenga, Chittagong
  • Mongla Export Processing Zone, Mongla, Bagerhat
  • Uttara Export Processing Zone, Nilphamari
  • Major infrastructure projects underway: Bangladesh government has been solving major issues to boost the textile industry.The gas and electricity problem is being solved by the arrangement of LNG infrastructure and high voltage grid power connection to the factories. Four lane road projects are underway to connect manufacturing districts all around Dhaka. Though still there are number of bottlenecks are creating considerable traffic congestion, a better management can help them reducing. After completion of some projects, traffic situation is supposed to improve. Padma Bridge is progressing well and is to connect the South-West part of the country with fast and easy access. This will help the country using more resources for global trade and manufacturing.
  • Undergoing a ‘Green’ revolution: Bangladesh hosts 7 among top 10 Platinum ranked textile apparel factories in the world. Bangladesh government has succeeded to making green factories which is making great impact in the world.A total of 13 best green building factories of Bangladesh were honored with “LEED Green Factory Award” to recognize their efforts in sustainability by achieving LEED Platinum certification.Bangladesh, the second largest ready-made garment exporter in the world, has taken a leading position in sustainable green industrialization with the world’s several top ranked Green factories. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Bangladesh’s RMG sector now has 67 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green factories. Among them 13 are LEED Platinum rated while more than 280 factories are registered with USGBC for LEED certification. Indonesia is the second largest with 40 green factories followed by India with 30 and Sri Lanka with 10.
  • "Bangladesh Brand “quality at lowest cost”: Bangladesh Textile industry known for its quality at lower cost. Low Labor cost and availability of manpower gives Bangladesh textile market a competitive advantage over other country. Furthermore textile education and government policies has ensured the product quality which is trusted by general consumer.

Market Drivers

Favorable Government Policies: Government policies has been favorable for textile industries. Some textile policies have played a vital role to enhance the industries. Some of the favorable policies are:

  • Back to back letter of credit: Textile industries have been allowed the facility of importing fabrics and other resources needed for the manufacture of garments, free of duty under bonded warehouse license system against back to back L/C arrangement, without involving cash foreign exchange from Bangladesh sources
  • Market Access Facilities: Bangladesh as a Least Developed Country (LDC) is enjoying duty free market access or reduced tariff rate facilities to export to various developed and developing countries in the world. This facility is enhanced and privileged by the membership of World Trade Organization (WTO). New 2017 textile policy has been approved by the government and vision is to build a solid and internationally competitive textile and apparel industry. The mission of the policy is stated as productivity improvement, employment generation and surge in export and foreign investment to ensure a safe and eco-friendly textile and apparel sector.

Technology Switch: Bangladesh’s RMG sector, a $28 billion industry, has taken the lead in green manufacturing as it has established 67 eco-friendly green buildings, the highest number in the world.

Young Skilled Population: Huge human resource is available in the Bangladesh. 70 percent population in the Bangladesh is under 40 years which gives enormous opportunities for the industries.

Market Restraints

  • Harassment at Workplace: 75% of the women who work within the industry report that they have been verbally abused while at work. Half of the women said that they have been physically abused. Because of these conditions, most women retire from the industry before the age of 45.
  • Legal Issues: 85% of the workers in the Bangladesh garment industry are women. 4 out of 5 workers within the industry put in 12- to 14-hour days, which is in excess of the legal limits in place for the industry.
  • Labor Ethics: More than 1,000 workers were accused in 2016 of trespassing, instigation, theft, and damage, which created enough Labor unrest to potentially decrease garment export earnings by more than 9% from July to December that year.
  • Poor infrastructure: Even though Bangladesh is investing a lot in infrastructure projects, the country is far behind in infrastructure in compared to its competitor countries. Unless the country can remove its road and port congestion, it won’t be able to achieve the goal. Professionals and workers working in the apparel industry are wasting a considerable amount of time on the road for bad traffic
  • Political instability and security: Bangladesh Politics, especially internal politics always has been the big issue for textile industries. Some unfavorable policies made by political parties still hurting the industry. Over the period of January - mid May 2013 there were about 55 days of political unrest including 27 national strikes. A total of 143 lives were lost, more than 3,500 people were injured, and more than 1,500 vehicles were destroyed because of strike violence. One study found that during the period January 2012 through July 2014, there were 96 Strike days in Dhaka) in 46 separate strike events, 19 of which lasted for more than one day.More recent monthly data from the Export Promotion Bureau show that during FY2017 (July 2016- June 2017), the year succeeding the terror incident at the Holey Artisan Bakery, the growth rate decreased to 0.2% (from 10.2 % in FY2016).

Industry Challenges

  • Increasing cost of business and production: cost of production has increased by 18 percent according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). Government is not solving the energy crisis problem, bureaucratic red tapes and corruptions in public services which results high production and operation cost. Sharp increase in the salaries in the public sector has imposed enormous pressure on the private sector.
  • Low value addition: Bangladesh is only exports certain products. They rarely export other high value items like lingerie, swimwear, sports item, functional fabric, functional textile etc.
  • Reputation crisis: Foreign buyers want to pay low price for a Bangladeshi product; however, for a same quality product of other countries like Turkey, India the average price is much higher. Bangladesh needs to enhance their textile industry reputation.
  • Safety and sustainability concerns: This has been the big problem for Bangladesh textile industry. Holistic approach towards sustainability, which will reduce cost and increase productivity and profit margin.
  • Shortage of skilled manpower: A recent research report done by SIEP project and Ministry of Industry has suggested that 3.6 million skilled people are needed for Bangladesh textile and apparel industry. Skilled people are now migrating overseas for better opportunities which is currently not possible in Bangladesh.
  • Bureaucratic red tape: Companies have to wait long time to get all approval from the government. this is very time consuming and tedious. To encourage new investments this problem needs to be addressed.

Technology Trends

  • Automation Technologies:

The global automation market in textile Market is growing, and there are many textile manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh, which are expected to upgrade their facilities.Many IT companies have developed robots that are precisely designed for the textile Market, and these changes will have a positive impact on the Bangladesh automation market in textile Market. Automation can be included in all the functions in a textile manufacturing unit.

  • Green Technologies: Bangladesh textile industries are rapidly adopting green technologies. Already 21 factories have achieved LEED certification as green factory from USGBC. Around 100 factories have been registered in LEED and are proceeding for green factories.
Rev 3 g.PNG

Pricing Trends

  • Price of Raw Materials: Yarn price has been continuously increasing in Bangladesh. Yarn production is expected to further rise as cotton imports could increase by almost 7% in the next season, having surged 50% in five years
  • Cost of Labor: In Bangladesh, minimum wages had increased modestly from US$ 65 a month to US$ 70 a month, after retailers and buyers had to face international pressure following the death of thousands of workers in the Rana Plaza factory fire.
  • Cost of production: Cost of production has been increased rapidly as yarn price has been increased along with labor wages.
Wage1.jpgPriece yarn.png

Regulatory Trends

Government policies for Textile industries are very favorable in Bangladesh. Government have made flexible and beneficial policies for textile industries.

  • Back to back letter of credit: Credit is a document issued by a financial institution, assuring payment to a seller of goods and/or services provided certain documents have been presented to the bank. A key principle underlying letter of credit (L/C) is that banks deal only in documents and not in goods.
  • Bonded warehouse facilities: As per Customs Act, 1969 and Value Added Tax Act, 1991 with very few exceptions, almost all exports are tax free. They also get tax free benefit of import or local purchase for the raw materials to be used in manufacturing of exporting goods. But imports of raw materials are taxable in regular tax regime.
  • Role of BGMEA: The ministry of Textiles and Jute, GOB has published Textile Policy, 2017 with a mission and vision to develop the textile sector for the future. BGMEA actively involved in textile industry and are providing following services
    • Promotion
    • Human resource Development
    • Workplace safety
    • Fashion college
    • Healthcare of employee
    • Green development
  • Market Access Policy: Bangladesh’s market access policy plays very important role in the growth of its garment industry in both the MFA and post-MFA period. 22 Of the firms surveyed, 68 out of 70 opine that the time-demanded market access policy has been providing preferential access for the sector in the major apparel markets.
                                    'Fig:Bangladesh Textile Policy 2017'
Textile policy.jpg

Other Key Market Trends

  • Labor Trends: Bangladesh is enjoying good manpower for the textile industries. However, near future Bangladesh may face labor problem because of low wages and poor working environment. There will be a demand for about 3.6 million skilled workers in the garment industry by the year 2021.
  • Fashion Trend: Global fashion trend also affecting the textile markets in Bangladesh. Bangladesh textile industries is supplying fix and regular cloths to Western market, but market has been changing and become more dynamic so textile industries should focus on product line and innovation.
  • Robotic Automation: The global automation market in textile Market is increasing, and Bangladesh also slowly using automation (robots, software etc.) which is giving high benefits to textile industries.

Market Size and Forecast

In the financial year 2016-2017 the RMG industry generated US$28.14 billion, which was 80.7% of the total export earnings in exports and 12.36% of the GDP

All country of European Union (EU) and USA are the major buyer of the RMG of Bangladesh. There are 52% RMG export in EU and 26% in USA. Mainly EU is knit RMG market and USA is a woven RMg market. Among all of export in USA 86% is RMG, in which 42% of total woven export and 12% of total knit export.

Market Outlook

The garment manufacturing sector in Bangladesh has a new slogan: “$50 billion by 2021.” It’s an ambitious vision to reach $50bn in exports by 2021, the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Bangladesh.


Technology Roadmap

Bangladesh is very clear about their strategy regarding the use of technology. Bangladesh has 32 LEED certified green factories in which three are the world's top environment-friendly garment and textile factories. LEED certified top factories like Envoy Textiles, Remi Holdings and Plummy Fashions have taken the garment and textile factories of Bangladesh to new heights

Use of robots and automation service have been very beneficial for factories and will be used in most of the factories in near future.

Distribution Chain Analysis

Supply chain scenario in Bangladesh including the garment industry is full of complexities and unlike the European countries and other parts of the developed world, a lot of work is needed to be done in Bangladesh in terms of the supply chain management practices. Although a lot of economic and industrial reforms are constantly being made in the garment industry in Bangladesh and it has an improving trend in the economic and productivity but when it is about supply chain of Bangladesh Textile & clothing industry is full of challenges and issues needed to be resolved in order to gain the competitiveness globally. The Main Issues are:

  • Inventory management responsiveness
  • Longer lead times
  • Collaboration
  • Technology and logistics and transportation problems

There is a demand of approximately three billion meters of woven fabric considering the current consumption for export per year. In context of that local mill can only produce around 45 million meters fabric which is around 14-15% of the demand.Every year the country is spending almost 4 billion USD to import fabric. Bangladesh needs to improve their distribution/supply chain to get benefit from the demand of the market.

Dist upload.PNG

Competitive Landscape

There are about 7,000 (3,200 direct sourcing and 3,800 indirect sourcing) factories producing clothing for more than 200 foreign brands with a sales volume of 1.57 billion units in 2014. They employ 5.1 million workers capturing a 5.1% market shares after China’s 38.6%.

Market Differentiation Bangladesh textile industries known for low cost high quality market but strong competition from country like china and india makes Bangladeshi brand in danger.They need proper re branding to differentiate their products from others.


Competitive Factors

Textile industries are very competitive. Large number of industries exist in the market and other foreign investor also showing interest for the market, in this scenario companies should focus on completive advantages. Following are the key competitive factors:

  • Technology and Supply chain
  • Brand Management
  • Sustainability and Innovation
  • Skilled Power

Key Market Players

  • Bexmico Fashions Ltd: Beximco Textile Fashions Limited (BFSL), a member of Beximco Group, started its commercial production during July 1997. BFSL is a 100% export oriented garment industry, located at Dhaka Export Processing Zone at Savar, Dhaka. Beximco Fashions Limited produces over 6 million pcs of high quality dress/casual shirts for prominent brands and retails in USA, Canada & Europe
  • Square Textile:Founded in 1997, Square Fashions Limited is specialized in producing a wide range ready made Knit Apparels & Circular Knit Fabrics. Now the company has two Garments Units and two Fabrics Units. Each unit is equipped with cutting, embroidery, printing, sewing and finishing materials and equipment. Square Fashions Limited is also providing free worker’s dormitories with pure drinking water, lighting and cooking facilities, transportation, meals at work, recreational facilities, and around-the-clock medical services.
  • DBL Group:DBL Group is a diversified business entity which has vertically integrated textile and apparel manufacturing facilities. It is also one of the largest knit garment manufacturers and exporters of Bangladesh, with major markets include Europe, USA and Canada and is a platinum supplier of H&M for Knit Garments. H&M, Walmart-George, Puma, Esprit and G-Star are some of the major buyers.
  • Fakir Group:Fakir Group is a combination of composite knit garments, garment label designing and manufacturing, printing and packaging, paper and board manufacturing, and more. Its Fakir Garments Ltd is a 100% export oriented knit garment industry of 3.6 million pcs capacity per annum. FGL has already attained the reputation of being the most dependable garments industry for high quality knit garments products of multi-dimensional styles.
  • Ha-meem Group:Ha-Meem Group is a leading wholesale clothing manufacturer in Bangladesh and in the world. The company produces some of the most fashionable denim fabrics and garment products and owns one of the most comprehensive and resourceful manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh. Over the years, Ha-Meem has been working with some of the biggest fashion brands of the world. The company has a rich history of 30 years in the textile business, and employs around 50,000 workers; the company has 26 garment factories consisting of 300 production lines and 7 washing plants with the capability of producing 7 million pcs/month.
  • Givensee Group: Givensee Group of Industries is one of the largest composite garments manufacturers in Bangladesh. Established in 1982, it has more than 17000 workers producing over 70000 pieces of garments per year, ranging from knitwear items to heavy denim wear. The group also has setup some of the largest vertical support units such as spinning, dyeing, washing, and garments accessories production facilities.

Strategic Conclusion

Innovation and latest technologies are the key trend that is giving key advantage for Bangladesh textile industries. Green development is the future of textile business and Bangladesh is taking big steps towards it which will give them a big support to grow continuously. We can say that if Bangladesh is able to maintain its current growth in textile and ready made garment industry, it can reach the target of $40 US dollar export by 2020. To achieve this position, it needs significant development in this sector and reasonable access to the US and the EU market.


Further Reading


  • LoC-Letter of Credit
  • BGMEA- Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association
  • RMG-Ready made Garments
  • GBIG-Green Building Information Gateway
  • LEDD- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
  • GoB-government of Bangladesh

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