Bangladesh was the third-largest apparel supplier to Malaysia, accounting for over 10 percent of the market share during the first quarter of this year. Malaysia imports apparel from Bangladesh and also receives raw materials, including fabric, from Bangladesh for its own textile sector. Trade data indicates that both countries can leverage their strengths in the textile industry to pursue a proposed free trade agreement (FTA). Recently, they agreed to explore the possibility of such a trade agreement.
During the Third Foreign Office Consultation held in Dhaka, a Malaysian trade delegation discussed various matters, including a potential trade agreement.
Malaysia imported apparel worth $48.943 mn from Bangladesh in the first quarter of 2022, which accounted for 10.06 percent of Malaysia’s total apparel imports valued at $486.711 mn. China and Singapore were the first and second largest suppliers, with market shares of 29.99 percent and 14.39 percent, respectively, according to date obtained from market report.
Last year, Malaysia imported apparel worth $2,051.032 mn, with imports from Bangladesh valued at $234.673 mn, accounting for 11.44 percent of the total.
Malaysia exported fabric worth $14.694 mn during January-March 2023, compared to $12.412 mn in October-December 2022 and $13.272 mn in January-March 2022. In 2022, fabric exports amounted to $53.527 mn, $51.938 mn in 2021, $36.560 mn in 2020, and $42.722 mn in 2019, as per market report.
Given that Bangladesh is one of the largest apparel exporters globally, the country requires raw materials for garment production. During the first quarter of this year, Bangladesh imported fabric worth $1,760.026 million. Malaysia accounted for a mere 0.83 percent share, ranking seventh among fabric suppliers. There is significant potential for Malaysia to tap into this market in bilateral trade.