RMG in Bangladesh:

The economy of Bangladesh is largely dependent on agriculture. However the ReadyMade Garments (RMG) sector has emerged as the biggest earner of foreign currency. In 1972, the World Bank approximated the gross domestic product (GDP) of Bangladesh at USD 6.29 billion, in 2014, the GDP stood at USD 173.82 billion, growing by almost 27 times in a matter of four decades. The RMG sector creates more than 4.2 million employment opportunities and contributes significantly to the GDP.

Despite many difficulties faced by the sector over the past years, it has carved a niche in the world market and kept continuing to show robust performance. The readymade garments industry acts as the backbone of our economy and as a catalyst for the development of our country. We take pride in the sector that has been fetching billions of dollars as export earnings and creating jobs for millions of people in the country. RMG sector of Bangladesh is powered by young, urbanizing, workers, where most of them are women.

A little History of RMG Sector in Bangladesh:

1950 was the beginning of RMG in the Western world. In order to control the level of imported RMG products from developing countries into developed countries, the Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) was made in 1974. The foundation of textile sector in Bangladesh was first established in the 60th decade of 19th century. For the first time, the industry exported shirts (Mercury shirt) to the European market in 1965-66, which was produced from Karachi. In the latter, 9 exporting industries were available in 1977-78. The three largest industries in that time were Riaz Garments, Jewel Garments and Paris Garments.

In the earlier stage, Riaz Garments started its business with some tailoring shop in the name of Riaz store. Later, the name turned into Riaz Garments in 1973 and from 1978 the company started exporting products in the abroad by exporting one million pieces of shirts in the South Korean Company named Olanda. Desh Garments is another pioneer of Bangladesh RMG sector. In 1979, it started a joint project with South Korean company Daewoo. At the same time, several garments were introduced such as Stylecraft Limited, Aristocraft Limited, Azim Group and Sunman Group etc.

By following the beginners of RMG sector, some others discreet and hard-working entrepreneurs started their RMG business in the country. And the RMG sector of Bangladesh was developing day by day and didnot need to look back. Though this sector has passed various critical stages from the beginning.

Present Situation of RMG Sector in Bangladesh:

The Made in Bangladesh tag has also brought glory for Bangladesh, making it a prestigious brand across the globe. Bangladesh, which was once termed by cynics a bottomless basket, has now become a basket full of wonders. The country with its limited resources has been maintaining 6% annual average GDP growth rate and has brought about remarkable social and human development. The industry that has been making crucial contribution to rebuilding the country and its economy is none other than the readymade garment (RMG) industry which is now the single biggest export earner for Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of readymade garment products trailing China.

When our only major export earner the jute industry started losing its golden days, it is the RMG sector that replaced it, and then, to overtake it. On its way to success the RMG industry faced a number of challenges. The biggest challenge for our apparel industry has emerged after the tragic building collapse in 2013. Many thought the building collapses would mark the end of the journey of our RMG industry. But what we have seen is the new beginning of our garment industry.

The industry that has changed lives of millions of people has undergone significant transformation in terms of workplace safety and worker's rights. National and international reform platforms -National Action Plan (NAP), Accord and Alliance- have made visible progress to ensure workplace safety. Both Accord and Alliance have completed inspection in 100% factories and the NAP will complete 100% factory inspection by this August. We note with satisfaction that less than 2% of the inspected factories have been found vulnerable and closed down immediately.

Moreover, to make our progress more transparent and credible, the inspection reports of the factories are made accessible at the Fair Factory Clearinghouse (FFC) database and the websites of the relevant government department, Accord and Alliance. When all factories complete their corrective action plans (CAPs), the RMG industry of Bangladesh can obviously be regarded as the safest industry in the world.

Industry Strengths in Bangladesh:
30 years of experience & reputation in garment manufacturing.
Competitive Price.
International standard quality.
Vibrant population, 70% below 40 years age, quick learning & dedicated.
Irresistible & resilient entrepreneurial spirit.
Duty free market access in most of the developed countries & PTA in India, China, Korea, Malaysia etc.
Rapid adoption of environment friendly, energy efficient and green concepts.
Rapidly developing backward linkage/ Washing/ Dyeing/ Finishing/ Embroidery etc.
Versatility of factories to produce different type of products.
Increasing trend of direct sourcing through local liaison offices at Dhaka.

The RMG sector is expected to grow despite the global financial crisis of 2009. As China is finding it challenging to make textile and foot wear items at cheap price, due to rising labor costs, many foreign investors, are coming to Bangladesh to take advantage of the low labor cost. Local accessories are being made including zippers, buttons, labels, hooks, hangers, elastic bands, thread, backboards, butterfly pins, clips, collar stays, collarbones and cartons. The accessory market is dominated by multinational companies operating in Bangladesh, because in the majority of cases, garment buyers prefer accessories from them over the locally available items.