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USA’s apparel import from Bangladesh increases by 13.99pc

In last five years from 2017 to 2022, the United States (USA) apparel import from Bangladesh increased by 13.99 per cent whereas their import from the world has grown by 4.50 per cent annually.

The USA is one of the major apparel importers for Bangladesh as well as for the world. In 2022, USA’s import from the world increased by 22.48 percent year-over-year and reached $ 99.93 billion from $ 81.58 billion in 2021. 

Bangladesh remains the third largest apparel source for USA with a 9.75 percent share of its total apparel import, which was 8.76 percent in 2021.

 In 2022, USA’s clothing import from Bangladesh grew by 36.38 percent year-over-year. USA imported $ 9.74 billion worth of apparel from Bangladesh in 2022 which was $7.16 billion in 2021 and $5.40 billion in 2018, said a press release of the BGMEA. 

The release said if the quantity based statistics measured in per square meter equivalent (SME), USA’s apparel import from Bangladesh registered 20.65 percent growth year-over-year, which reached to 3.14 billion SME in 2022 from 2.60 billion in 2021. 

On the other hand, USA’s import from China has declined by 3.11 percent quantity-wise in 2022 compared to 2021. 

China, being the top apparel import source for USA and having a 21.75 percent share, posted 10.83 percent year-over-year growth in 2022 in dollar value. USA’s apparel import from China reached $21.73 billion in 2022 from $19.60 billion in 2021 which was $27.37 billion in 2018. 

On the other hand, Vietnam remains in the second position. The value of USA’s clothing from Vietnam was $12.21 billion in 2018 which increased to $14.37 in 2021 and reached $18.24 billion in 2022. The share of Vietnam in USA’s total apparel import also increased to 18.26 percent in 2022 from 14.74 percent in 2018. 

India and Indonesia both countries have shown over 35 percent growth in 2022 compared to 2021. The share of both countries increased to 5.69 percent and 5.61 percent respectively in 2022 from 4.59 percent and 5.40 percent in 2018. 

Other top countries having mentionable growth were Cambodia 28.46 percent, South Korea 25.08 percent, Pakistan 24 percent, Honduras 19.85 percent, and Mexico 11.50 percent in 2022. The share of these countries also increased during the mentioned year. 

Since the share of Bangladesh in USA’s apparel import is only 9.75 percent, BGMEA president Faruque Hassan said that there is a huge opportunity to increase the share further adding that Bangladesh has already gained the top position in USA’s denim import very recently.
 
“There are few more product categories where we’ve potential to further penetrate. Besides, we still have a number of US brands yet to source from Bangladesh or are sourcing at a limited scale. So, while we urge for diversifying our markets, we think we still have a huge scope of specialization in the existing ones,” he added.
 
The BGMEA president said they are committed to deliver the best to its customers, and U.S.A. being the largest market for Bangladesh remains the biggest beneficiary of all efforts. 

Mentioning that there have been few issues in trade between USA and Bangladesh, especially the cotton fumigation requirement while importing cotton from USA, Faruque said, “Our government has already waived the mandatory fumigation requirement for importing cotton from USA. This will certainly reduce the time and cost of business of our importers”.

He said they are now approaching the US government to consider duty-free market access to the USA for garment made of US cotton. “This reciprocity will benefit the U.S. cotton growers, the U.S. apparel brands and consumers, while Bangladesh will gain an extra edge as a preference to the US cotton”.

Apart from that, Faruque said the BGMEA is working with the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) on different issues to make trade between Bangladesh and USA easier. 

He said the 38th IAF World Fashion Convention will be organized in Philadelphia in October this year. 

“We’ll take part in this conference being a member of IAF and myself being a Director of the Board of IAF. I believe we’ll get a significant opportunity there to highlight Bangladesh and our RMG industry,” the BGMEA president added.

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