Soon, Indian garments to be made in Bangladesh


Dhaka : Fabric from India, made in Bangladesh. That is the deal several Indian apparel makers are hoping to stitch up.

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Indian shirt-maker NSL Textile, for instance, is trying to import readymade shirts from Bangladesh that would be marketed under the brand name Constello. The Rs.15 billion enterprise is among the many Indian brands eyeing import of shirts from Bangladesh as local suppliers can offer competitive prices and quality.

“Several Indian brands, including NSL, are exploring tie-ups with garment-makers in Bangladesh by bringing fabrics from India,” a Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) official told the New Age newspaper.

Since the Bangladeshi garment industry enjoys duty-free imports of fabrics, there is attraction for Indian brands for importing Bangladeshi shirts made of imported fabrics.

Meanwhile, Bangladeshi garment makers are upbeat about the Indian market, but want the government to persuade New Delhi to remove what they call “para-tariffs”.

Former BGMEA president Anwar Ul Alam Chowdhury said for years Indian brands had been interested in buying formal shirts and trousers from Bangladesh but “some import hassles” discouraged them.

“India is a huge market. Brands there are interested about Bangladeshi garments. If the government works with Indian authorities to remove para-tariff barriers including unnecessary delays in clearing shipments, Bangladesh’s garment exports to India will get a boost,” the BGMEA official said.

A latest report by Bangladesh’s Export Promotion Bureau says that garment exports to India has started increasing in recent times.

Industry sources told the New Age that exports of certain quantity of duty-free garments are gaining markets in India.

In the fiscal year 2009-10, garment export to India amounted to $13 million with an 18 percent growth over the year. Two years back, in the 2007-08 fiscal year, garment export to India was less than $5 million.

“Still Bangladesh’s garment export to India is very tiny if compared to the $12.5 billion worth of annual garment shipments that are mainly destined for the US and EU markets. But India’s potential is huge,” the official said.

India’s domestic apparel market is worth $35 billion with $2 billion market for shirts.

Bangladeshi shirt-makers can take a significant portion of the Indian market pie as they have experience in catering to western brands like Wal-Mart, H&M and JC Penney, the official said.