Bangladesh RMG export to Turkey tumbles 31.78% in FY 2017-18
Bangladesh is continuously noting a decline in RMG export earnings from Turkey which, at one point of time, was one of the major non-traditional markets for the country. In FY 2017-18, Bangladesh exported apparels worth US $ 260.16 million, down massively by 31.78 per cent from the last year when it clocked US $ 381.37 million.
Knitwear exports fell to US $ 192.71 million in the year that ended on 30th June 2018 from US $ 367.80 million in the previous year. On the other hand, woven garment exports tumbled to US $ 77.91 million in FY 2017-18 from US $ 108.92 million in FY 2016-17. The fall can be attributed to the safeguard duty (17%) imposed by Turkey on apparel imports from the least developed countries, including Bangladesh. The duty was first levied in 2011 and since then the apparel exports from Bangladesh to Turkey has been fluctuating.
Following the imposition of safeguard duty, RMG exports fell to US $ 488.08 million in FY 2014-15 from US $ 622.37 million in FY 2013-14 and further declined to US $ 460.29 million FY 2015-16.
Another reason behind the sharp downfall is that Turkey used to import basic products more from Bangladesh which re-exported them in other parts of the world. But, over a year now, Bangladesh has concentrated in creating variety in fashion and has developed the quality of its RMG products to consolidate its stand in the world fashion market.
Moreover, since Turkey’s focus is more on high-end garments to cater to the domestic demand, its preferred partner is now EU which gives duty-free access to Turkey as well as it’s located in close proximity to Turkey, therefore, EU is preferred over Bangladesh for the obvious reason. However, according to Bangladesh’s export industry experts, the first priority of the country’s Government should be to initiate a bilateral FTA with Turkey to avail preferential market access as they believe Bangladesh will lose the remaining marker share in Turkey if an agreement is not signed.