The garment industry of Bangladesh has been the key export division and the main source of foreign exchange for the last 25 years. At present, the country generates about $5 billion worth of products each year by exporting garments. The industry provides employment about 3 million workers of whom 90% are women.
Two non-market elements have performed a vital function in confirming the garment industry's continual success; these elements are (a) quotas under Multi- Fibre Arrangement1 (MFA) in the North American market and (b) special market entry to European markets. The whole procedure is strongly related to the trend of the relocation of production.
Bangladesh’s RMG sector has many factors that attract global attention:
However, the challenges are many, varied and possibly insurmountable, raising the question of the sustainability of its present growth and its future growth as well. The ready-made garment industry (popularly known as RMG), counts for almost. 81% of the total exports of Bangladesh.
The garment industry is controlled by the transfer of production. The globalization of garment production started earlier and has expanded more than that of any other factory. The companies have transferred their blue-collar production activities from high-wage areas to low-cost manufacturing regions in industrializing countries. The enhancement of communication systems and networking has played a key role in this development. Export-oriented manufacturing has brought some good returns to the industrializing nations of Asia and Latin America since the 1960s.
The garment industry in Bangladesh has been expanded almost uninterruptedly since the late 1970s. It survived the Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) phase out at the end of 2004 and remains internationally competitive to date. Sources of competitiveness of the industry were discussed. There are three potential strengths, i.e. market forces, government policy and dynamism inside the industry. Market force, which is represented by the low wages of labor, is surely fundamental to competitiveness.
By 2001 the textile industry employed about 3 million workers of whom 90% were women. In 2004 the garment sector remained the largest employer of women in Bangladesh. By 2013, there were approximately 5,000 garment factories, employing about 4 million people, mostly women.
As per the BTMA, there are 430 yarn manufacturing mills, 802 fabrics manufacturing mills, and 244 dyeing-printing finishing mills in Bangladesh, along with 32 denim fabrics manufacturing mills and 22 home textile manufacturing mills.
Bangladesh is the world's second-largest Readymade Garment (RMG) exporter, just behind China. Country's 81% of exports come from the RMG sector, and the textile and Apparel sector contributes around 20% to Bangladesh's GDP.
Currently, China is the top-ranked global textile exporter with a value of approximately 119 billion U.S. dollars. China is the largest textile producing and exporting country in the world.