The reluctance of textile business to set up fabric manufacturing units in the country is leading to a gap between demand and supply of yarn-dyed fabrics known as checked and striped shirting clothes in Bangladesh. According to the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), demand for checked and striped shirting clothes is the highest among other woven garments in the world, businesses said.
Mohammad Ali Khokon, President, BTMA says, production of woven fabrics lags behind in the country due to the absence of adequate facilities due to lack of investment and uninterrupted gas and power supply. He urged the government to invite foreign investments for the backward linkage of woven-subsector as a plant for checked and striped shirting fabrics requires Tk 300-400 crore which is many fold higher than the cost for a knit fabric manufacturing unit.
Local textile mills meet four billion meters of woven fabrics out of 10 billion meters for annual exports. The local mills meet 50-60 per cent of demand for plain woven fabrics, 50 per cent for denim fabrics and nearly 10 per cent of (yarn dyed) checked and striped fabrics, he said.
Production units for woven fabrics are not increasing in the country due to high project costs, adds Md Shahidullah Azim, Vice President, BGMEA. He requested the government to extend low-cost finance for strengthening the backward linkage to tap the potential of global export market.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau data, Bangladesh’s export earnings from woven garments in the first half (July—December) of FY22 increased by 24.50 per cent to $8.74 billion while earnings from knitwear increased by 30.91 per cent to $11.16 billion. Despite having potential, Bangladesh RMG sector would lose work orders of woven garments as the sub-sector depends on imported fabrics, Khokon adds