FOCUS 2021 Bangladesh turns 50 and rivals China

THE MAGIC OF UNTAPPED EXPORT POTENTIAL

By Matthijs Crietee, Deputy Secretary General of the IAF, the International Apparel Federation & Dhyana van der Pols, CEO Nash international BV
This article appeared in the magazine from IAF member BGMEA on the occassion of the BGMEA Fashion Summit.

A QUEST TO ROADMAP A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE BY THE PROCESS OF TRADING UP SO, CAN WE GO BEYOND OUR OWN PLACE IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN?

Trading up: To create an ‘upward stretch’ in price range and distribution through enhancement of the product & product range by improving the quality, design and the assortment offer in new market segments or nontraditional channels, whilst safeguarding social conditions and industry standards.

IMPORTS EU (28) FROM BANGLADESH IN € HS code 61 & 62

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Today’s exports compared to the potential of the industry Notwithstanding global concerns & debates on the apparel industry as a whole, the exports from Bangladesh continue to surge throughout 2014 despite the slight diversity in product groups in both Cat 61 & 62 SOURCE: EUROSTAT/ MODINT

Ready Made Garments (RMG) has been the lifeblood of Bangladesh economy. At current the industry generates a total worth of $19 billion in exports. Serious challenges related to workplace safety have underscored the need for responsible and sustainable supply chain management
and collaboration worldwide. Having both labor and production capacity at its disposal Bangladesh competes in the region and substantiates this primary advantage. Backed by growth expectations thanks to further industrialization the industry aim is to chalk out a roadmap to nearly triple exports by 2021 to $ 50 billion on its 50th anniversary.

To abide to international CSR principles whilst retaining its competitive position, the focus to increase efficiency and productivity will be a strong driver to improve the sector and cater to fast fashion and JIT requirements. The challenge will consist of our willingness to be ‘Green’, ‘Lean’, ‘Energy efficient’ and ‘Transparent’ from tier 1 till tier 4. Focus on product diversification and PLM cycles will be a minimum requirement for sustainable sector development and existence.

TRADING UPWARDS
The scope of the coming years will be centered on branding the nation Bangladesh as a compliant producing country as well as to explore scenario’s to make use of the untapped product portfolio. Key word is: ‘Trading up’. If Bangladesh is to compete with China, product group potential needs to be untapped, potential to be analyzed and converted to real offerings from a nation that has the potential, skills and workmanship to offer any global fashion, functional or fancy segment a ‘one stop shopping’ experience.

TRANSITION SCENARIOS

  1. the quest for new product definition and to widen the existing product range from the core
  2. ameliorate and diversify the source and use of fabrics, application possibilities of MMF
  3. integrate new design with the right use of technology in quality manufacturing
  4. tap into new (nontraditional) channels and rethink your service levels

The ultimate goal of trading up is to bring business impact (margin and turnover development) as well as relationship management with buyers to a higher standard. To avoid the continuous discussion on lowering FOB this is best replaced by a more strategic conversation with international industry players and stakeholders. This process is not done overnight. This Dhaka Apparel Summit can kickoff the international discussion on how to get there. Go where you are “wanted”, benchmark others, involve the top and appreciate and communicate early wins. Extension of product ranges should be tailored to the existing corporate culture: tangible and realistic.

1980 EARLY POTENTIAL
At the start of its industry Bangladesh offered more than just cheap T shirts, jeans, socks and underwear. Technical outerwear, jackets, sportswear, leatherwear; even suits and high embellished products where produced an exported during that era. Hand knitting in intarsia and
jacquards were a traditional strength in artisan centers. Product groups that seemed to have vanished from the assortment base or are no longer sought after by fast moving commodity buyers? We all know Bangladesh will be ready to cater more to ever higher demanding markets and segments.

BANGLADESH AT THE AGE OF 50
How can we denote an economy or a country to be mature? We are all characterized by our peers and auxiliaries during our upbringing and our current stage of development. Investments, vocational training and perseverance is crucial to adjust and go beyond industry boundaries and flourish. Inattentiveness makes us expire. Involvement is key for development.

EU (28) PRODUCTGROUP IMPORTS FROM BANGLADESH IN €

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Untapped potential and product group categories that are not representedOuterwear, technical sportswear, swimwear, air jet underwear, shape- body and lingerie, ski wear- tracking- hiking- biking, high segmented MMF knits, suits- technical work wear, men shirts- ladies blouses mid-high segment

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Matthijs Crietee
SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE IAF, THE INTERNATIONAL APPAREL FEDERATION

Mr. Crietee has a long standing experience in giving strategic advice to the fashion industry. His areas of expertise are sourcing strategies, logistics, innovation and CSR. He is now helping to build the IAF into a relevant global force in support of the fashion industry. He is a natural optimist and a firm believer in the importance of knowledge and true supply chain cooperation to make the fashion industry a better industry

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dhyana
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Mrs Dhyana van der Pols
CEO NASH INTERNATIONAL BV

Dhyana van der Pols: global fashion production, sourcing and supply chain specialist. She’s energetic, has a disarming Dutch directness, and is a pursuer of excellence and ideas that work. Recognized by many in the European fashion industry as the first person to contact for out-of-thebox, savvy sourcing solutions, Dhyana van der Pols has been consistently successful in bringing together the ambitions of suppliers and buyers from around the world for over a decade. In 2013
alone she trained 500 garment manufacturers from around the world for EU market entry, while saving big and small brands in Europe millions of euros through the pioneering sourcing solutions of her company, Nash International.[/one_half]
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