RMG makers eye US$500m export to 3 South American states

The country's apparel makers have eyed US$500 million export to the three South American states-- Brazil, Chile and Mexico-- within next two years.

The country may fetch the export order after a 12-member Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) visited the three countries recently.

This visit was a part of joint initiative of BGMEA and GTZ to diversify the RMG market beyond
USA and Europe where currently 94 per cent of country's RMG is exported.

During the visit, the delegation met government representatives, high officials from chambers, readymade garments buyers, chain retailers, traders and importers and members of the press. They received tremendous response from the buyers as they had very limited knowledge about
Bangladesh and its RMG industry, a delegation leader told the FE.

"BGMEA is expecting good number of buyers from these three countries to participate at the BATEXPO 2010 during November this year to start a business linkage. Additionally several Latin American buyers are scheduled to visit
Bangladesh this month," BGMEA official said.

Led by BGMEA 1st Vice President Nasir Uddin Cowdhury, the delegation also included BGMEA's Vice President, Faruque Hassan and other directors. Sr. Business Advisor of German Development Cooperation (GTZ) Sarwat Ahmad also joined them.

They also identified that absence of Bangladesh Mission or a trade representative office in
Brazil, Chile and Mexico causes numerous obstacles in promoting RMG exports.

Bangladesh's RMG export market to Brazil currently is at US$50.29 million as compared to Brazil's total import of RMG US$767.07 million. Similarly
Mexico's RMG import from Bangladesh worth US$ 114.01million as against its annual RMG import of US$1947.85 million. Bangladesh's RMG export to Chile is US$ 7.47 million in comparison to their total RMG import of US$1074.83 million.

The delegation has also suggested that bi-lateral trade agreement at Government level is highly required to ease the tariff barrier. BGMEA has been pursuing the government to open embassies in
South America.

Aiming to ease the country's dependence on USA and Europe markets amidst a global recession has made RMG trade to think about diversification of its export market to new and potential markets like Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and to emerging markets like Brazil, Chile, Mexico and South Africa.

German Government has partially supported this initiative through GTZ as a part of its ongoing technical and development cooperation.

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