Home Apparel Garment makers line up to hit $500m in exports

Garment makers line up to hit $500m in exports

Only one Bangladeshi garment manufacturer could hit $500 million in exports in a year — a puzzling statistic for a country that is the second largest apparel supplier in the world.There are a bunch of companies whose export receipts amount to more than $400 million but less than $500 million, said Mohammed Nasir, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.Ha-Meem Group, which counts retail giants like Gap, H&M, Mango and Zara as its major buyers, is the only company to have managed to break out from that bracket, according to data from the BGMEA. Established in 1984 on a small scale, the company’s annual export receipt stood at $535 million in 2015-16.“I have a target to reach $1 billion in annual exports in the next six to seven years,” said AK Azad, managing director of Ha-Meem Group. It is not an impracticable target as the future export trend is positive, he said. “All we need is political stability in the country.”To achieve that goal, Azad has been strengthening Ha-Meem’s capacity, especially to manufacture the denim and woven products. Currently, Ha-Meem Group has 23 units and employs around 50,000 workers.Export receipts of less than $500 million do not mean that the other companies are performing poorly, Nasir said.“Many companies are performing very well and their turnover will even cross the $1-billion mark soon,” he added. One such company that is on the cusp of hitting the milestone of $500 million in export receipts is Nassa Group.“The export growth trend is good. I am very much hopeful that we will reach $500 million in exports very soon,” said Nazrul Islam Mazumder, chairman of Nassa Group.DBL Group is on the same boat as Nassa.“I hope my group can cross the $500-million mark next year,” said MA Jabbar, managing director of DBL Group.He went on to state that it will not be long before the other big garment companies hit the milestone like Ha-Meem, as they have the production capacity and the support from international retailers.Bangladesh exported garment items worth $28.06 billion last fiscal year and is chasing a target of $30.37 billion this year.China has a 37.50 percent share of the $450 billion global apparel trade, followed by Bangladesh that has a 6 percent share.