Local garment manufacturers have sought Chinese investment in the high-value productive areas where the country lacks enough expertise and technology. The country's highest foreign currency earners made plea after the Chinese businessmen had shown their interest to invest in sectors like readymade garment (RMG) in Bangladesh, when a high powered business delegation from China in February last visited Bangladesh to assess investment prospects in apparel industry.
Top Chinese companies like Yanger Group, Chinese Group, Syntax, Sansana Company, Nimbo Four Signs and Nimbo Signal Luxury Home Apparel have already expressed their willingness to invest in garment industry in Bangladesh. The Chinese firms had informed a BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) delegation during their China tour in June last of their latest plan to venture into the apparel industry. The Bangladeshi delegation called upon them to invest in making suits, woven textiles and other high-value apparel products.
"There is a large scope for Chinese investors in backward linkage industries, especially in the spinning and woven textile segments to ensure a sound supply chain for the RMG products," said BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin. He said the possible investment should come to the areas where the country does not have enough capability as Bangladesh yearly spends billions of taka for importing many materials in the form of backward linkages.
The well-organised woven industry does not have such investment although many foreign investors, mainly from neighbouring India and China, are looking for opportunities to make investments in the apparel sector in Bangladesh. The country's apex clothing body recently sent a letter to the Ministry of Commerce and Board of Investment making a plea to discourage wide-ranging foreign investment in the RMG sector. President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) Abdus Salam Murshedy said the exporters face difficulties in importing 80 per cent of the required fabrics from overseas countries.