China's Relocation Helps Bangladesh become top garment exporter
• China can play a major role in making Bangladesh the world's top exporter of garments, according to analysts. Chinese industrialists are now planning to relocate their garments and textile industries, especially those manufacturing low-end apparel. These can be shifted to Bangladesh, where the government is planning to award a special economic zone to China.
• If Bangladesh plays its cards correctly, it can emerge as the number 1 readymade garment exporter in the world in the next 10 years, Farooq Sobhan, president of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, a think-tank, said at a roundtable organised by a leading Bangladeshi daily.
• The roundtable 'Bangladesh-China Relations: Connecting the Two Economies' was organised in view of Chinese president Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Bangladesh.
• China currently accounts for nearly 40 per cent share of global apparel consumption, which stood at $445 billion in 2015. In comparison, Bangladesh is far behind with around 6 per cent share.
• Will Bangladesh be able to narrow this gap and ultimately surpass China would depend on several issues such as “terms and conditions of Chinese loans and Bangladesh's own ability to provide facilities to fast-track the implementation,” Sobhan said.
• Participating in the discussion, MunshiFaiz Ahmad, chairman of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), said Bangladesh should not worry too much about the trade deficit with China.
• To expand its footprint in China, Bangladesh needs zero-tariff access for most of its items, including apparel, said MahfuzKabir, acting research director of the BIISS.
Assistant Professor, TE