Bangladesh had been eyeing big orders of fan jerseys ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia (June 14-July 15); and the results have not been disappointing either. Up until now, jerseys have fetched an overwhelming US $ 1 billion in revenue.
According to the latest figures released from Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau, the country earned a net worth of US $ 2.6 billion from the export of jerseys, pullovers and similar items made of cotton and man-made fibres.
This is being viewed as an exciting new window of opportunity in the production of sportswear. However, one lacking still remains is that the country is about 85 per cent reliant on natural fibre cotton and produces very little manmade textile fibre.
According to Mohammad Hatem, first Vice President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh, about 100 factories were involved in the manufacturing of these jerseys.
Insiders say, this was one of the main reasons behind a surge in export of knitwear items and apparel items in overall during the last month. In July-May period, knitwear exports rose 11.48 per cent to US $ 13.94 billion and woven garments 8.15 per cent to US $ 14.18 billion.
“Compared to last year, we have seen US $ 1.5 billion growth in knitwear export. My assumption is, this was due to the World Cup. This was about an overwhelming 12 per cent gain on a year-to-year basis,” he says.
Hatem, who is also a former Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and owns MB Knit Fashion, says he exported 25,000 pieces of Spain’s fan jerseys, made of man-made fibre, at US $ 2.55 per item. “The same will be sold for at least US $ 15 to US $ 20 each,” he adds, calling out for fair pricing of apparel items.
He however says this opportunity for making sportswear has opened new scope for Bangladesh.