Germany became the top export destination for local readymade garments (RMGs) in the just-concluded fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) said. The country fetched $5.57 bn from RMG exports to Germany- an 8.65 per cent growth compared to the corresponding period of FY ’17. According to the official data, it was $5.13 bn in the previous fiscal. Previously, the US was the biggest market for Bangladeshi apparel. Exporters and experts attributed this achievement to the duty-free facility provided by Germany and other European nations.

Germany’s strong economy has propelled higher garment imports from Bangladesh. The overall exports to Germany, however, stood at $5.89 bn in last FY. It was $5.47 bn in previous FY, according to the data. On the other hand, the USA accounted for $5.35 bn of RMG exports which was 2.84 per cent higher than the previous FY’s $5.20 bn. The total earnings from the US market in the last FY reached $5.98 bn from $5.84 bn. The United Kingdom (UK) was the third largest RMG market that imported $3.72 bn from Bangladesh in last FY. It was 12.63 per cent higher than the last fiscal’s $3.30 bn. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Siddiqur Rahman said, Germany is the largest European hub of local garment items. Bangladeshi garment items enjoy duty-free facility in the European Union (EU), he told.

He, however, attributed the stable German economy for the rise in exports there. MA Rahim, Vice-Chairman of DBL Group, said the demand for knitted items had risen in Germany in recent years. Bangladesh-made apparel raked in $2.27 bn from Spain, marking a 21.24 per cent increase. Meanwhile, the country exported garments worth $1.85 bn to France in last FY. RMG exports rose by 7.82 per cent to $1.45 bn in Italy and 14.86 per cent to $935.37 mn in the Netherlands in the same FY. Exports to Canada witnessed a sluggish growth of 1.78 per cent at $963.14 mn. On the other hand, exports to India rose by 114.68 per cent to $278.67 mn. However, the shipments just maintained the same amount of $391.64 mn in the Chinese market, the data revealed.