Export earnings from the Readymade Garment (RMG) increased by 8.3 per cent or $584.87 mn in October to December quarter of 2017 than the corresponding quarter of previous year 2016. “Contribution of RMG sector in the country’s export earnings is increasing day-by-day as the government has taken various steps to improve overall workplace safety and compliance in RMG sector,” a Bangladesh Bank official told. According to BB data, export earnings from RMG stood at $7,628.67 mn during the October to December quarter of 2017 which was $7,043.8 mn in the same quarter of 2016. During the October to December period, export earnings from RMG sector increased by 6.78 per cent or $ 484.55 mn than the previous quarter (July-September) in 2017. RMG is the major export item, which was 82.4 per cent of the country’s total export earnings of $9253.29 mn in the October to December quarter.

Data showed that 40.85 per cent and 41.59 per cent of total export earnings were received from woven garments and knitwear respectively. Export earnings from woven garments stood at $3,780.35 mn during the period while knitwear was $3,848.32 mn, President of the Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) Syed Moazzam Hossain said RMG sector is the country’s largest foreign currency earner. For taking different initiatives from the government and other authorities concerned, he said, the production of RMG products are increasing and thus export earnings from the sector is also increasing gradually. Moazzem, also an exporter of RMG product, said although the production level is increasing, exporters do not get expected price for their products as buyers are dominating in international market.

According to the BB data, about four million of total manpower is working in 4,482 garments factories. Employment in RMG sector increased from two million in fiscal 2004-05 to four million in 2011-12. The figure of the RMG workforce remained unchanged till FY17. Major importer countries of Bangladeshi RMGs are the USA, Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada. During the October-December of 2018, total export to these nine countries stood at $6,268.02 mn, of which 92.55 per cent or $5,801.44 mn is from the RMG (woven 45.95 per cent and knitwear 46.60 per cent) sector.