Bangladesh holds the capacity to become the second largest garment accessories and packaging supplier in the world, feels local manufacturers who have been playing an important role in backward linkage to the country’s US $ 30 billion plus apparel industry.
With policy support and exposure, the accessories and packaging industry can grow to become a major export segment, Md Abdul Kader Khan, president of Bangladesh Garment Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA), shared with Apparel Resources.
It was in the ‘90s when accessories industry first started in Bangladesh with an aim to add value to the production chain of apparel items. Now, manufacturers claim they can suffice about 95 per cent of the apparel industry’s accessories and packaging demand. The industry stood at US $ 6.7 billion in fiscal 2016-17 and aims to grow to US $ 12 billion by 2021.
Also, the accessories and packaging industry has grown out to extend support to other export segments like leather industry, shoe industry, frozen fish exports and others. Also, since the last four years or so, the industry has been directly exporting to Asian and European countries.
“Buyers worldwide are pursuing the China plus strategy. We (accessories and packaging businessmen) have the capacity to grab a share of the accessories market that is shifting out of China,” Khan, Managing Director of Khan Accessories and Packaging Co. Lt, said. “We need support from the government, proper infrastructure and exposure. With the proper support, we can show our potential.”
The manufacturer wanted government’s support for smooth gas supply and increasing the efficiency of Chattogram port to ensure opportunities for growth to the industry. He also urged the government to expose the industry to the international community through trade shows and fairs; what he confidently hoped would prove fruitful.
At a time when over 82 per cent of the country’s exports are reliant on readymade garments, experts are suggesting that Bangladesh should look to diversify its basket. Khan feels, accessories and packaging could be a sustainable solution to this end.