KDS Group is set to export steel clips and hooks for hangers as it has received orders from Malaysia, the UAE and South Africa. Khalilur Rahman, the Chittagong-based group’s Chairman, said his company expects to haul Tk 4 billion in the next five to six years through overseas sales of the new items. “I see huge local demand and export potential. This venture will help us reduce reliance on imports of hooks and clips,” he said.
Currently, Bangladesh imports US $ 20 million worth of hooks and clips, but Mr Rahman expressed the hope that his company’s shipment could top Tk 4 billion by 2017. “We have ventured to setup the industry to make the KDS apparel factories completely self-sufficient. Now we have all raw materials and accessories manufactured in our own plants. There is also a huge export potential of our hooks and clips globally,” said the KDS boss.
Steel Accessories, the group’s new concern, is now negotiating with buyers from Malaysia, Dubai and South Africa. “Buyers are highly pleased with the design and quality of our products. We expect to begin shipment by December this year,” said Operations Manager Iqbal Ahmed. Though, he did not disclose the amount of exports orders they have received from these three countries, he said that local apparel makers have long been relying on Taiwan, India and China for the imports of hooks and clips.
The company sees exponential demand of the items at home also in view of the forecast by McKinsey, the global consultancy, which said the country’s annual clothing exports would touch $ 42 billion over the next 10 years. While, there are factories of hooks and clips in the old part of the capital which are operated manually and supply clips and hooks for hangers to the local apparel traders at Dhaka New Market, Bangabazar, etc. Steel Accessories Ltd. is the country’s first and the only manufacturer of steel hooks and clips for export oriented hangers.
The industry established on an area of 0.86 acres of land in the Baizid Industrial Area in the city in 2009, has a production capacity of 100 million of pieces per month. It also has laboratories facilities and state-of-the-art testing equipment to carry out extensive routine testing to maintain top quality products for their clients at home and abroad which has enabled the industry to gain the ISO certificate from the international standardisation society SGS.
The strength of Steel Accessories lies with KDS’s long heritage of managing a global business. In addition to internal use, the company is now supplying steel hooks and clips to local business groups including Pran Group and Bengal Plastics. The KDS chief said it requires policy support to promote the accessories export industry, which can bring home foreign currency.