Recent figures show that Vietnam has dethroned Bangladesh as the second largest apparel exporter globally, stoking the debate as to who is poised to reign supreme in the long run. China being the undisputed leader in apparel manufacturing, the World Trade Organisation figures show that Bangladesh was the second largest apparel exporter globally in 2019, exporting apparel items worth US $ 33.63 billion, capturing 6.83 per cent of the world market. Vietnam followed behind with US $ 30.56 billion worth exports or 6.21 per cent share of the global market last year. But the debate took an interesting turn when, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam data, during the January-June period of 2020, Vietnam earned US $ 13.18 billion from exporting textile and sewing products, while on the other hand Bangladesh’s Export Promotion Bureau maintains the country (Bangladesh) has fetched US $ 11.92 billion.
Post-pandemic, Bangladesh is eyeing significant inflow of FDI as Commerce Ministry formulates policies and guidelines in this direction. Experts and analysts share their thoughts where FDI would be most viable for garment and textiles manufacturing. Meanwhile, MA Jabbar, MD of DBL Group, one of the largest conglomerates of Bangladesh, in an exclusive interview to AOB, speaks on a range of issues that are impacting business in the current context, and what he thinks would be the emerging areas of opportunity going forward.