Bangladesh Tops EU Knitwear Supply2 min read

Bangladesh has secured the coveted position of the primary source of knitwear for the European Union (EU) markets, marking a significant milestone in the country’s textile export history. This accomplishment is attributed to strategic investments, particularly in high-value items, and a notable focus on the active-wear segment.

Reportedly, recent data from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, reveals that Bangladesh has surpassed all other competitors, emerging as the leading supplier of knitwear to the EU during the January to September 2023 period. According to Faruque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh’s knitwear imports to the EU have outperformed other countries both in dollar value and weight.

As reported, Bangladesh’s knitwear exports to the EU over nine months soared to an impressive $9 billion, surpassing China at $8.96 billion. Not only in value but also in weight, Bangladesh outpaced China, exporting 571 million kg of knitwear compared to China’s 442 million kg. This significant achievement emphasizes Bangladesh’s dominance in the European knitwear market, attributed to its preferential access under the Everything But Arms scheme, providing duty-free, quota-free privileges and showcasing its prowess in specialized categories amid China’s lead in overall clothing imports.

Bangladesh’s textile prowess extends beyond knitwear, maintaining global leadership in EU denim sourcing since 2014, surpassing Turkey and Pakistan. The nation’s influence in denim also resonates in the USA, where it outperformed Mexico in 2020. Despite facing temporary setbacks in US cotton apparel exports, with Vietnam leading in the second half of 2023, Bangladesh remains a significant player, securing a substantial 14.55% share of the US cotton apparel market, valued at an impressive $47.50 billion in 2022. Industry insiders express optimism about Bangladesh reclaiming its top position in the US cotton apparel category by the end of the next year, underscoring the nation’s resilience and strategic importance in the global textile landscape.

Reportedly, Faruque Hassan, BGMEA President, emphasizes that Bangladesh’s success in the EU knitwear market and other apparel categories solidifies its position as a major player in the global textile industry. Strategic investments and favorable trade schemes have propelled the nation to new heights in the competitive international marketplace.

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