Har­ness­ing Sup­port

Southasia - - Briefing -

Bangladesh and China re­cently signed MoUs to pro­mote mu­tual trade and in­vest­ment in the tex­tile sec­tor. The deal will en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in trade and in­vest­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, del­e­ga­tion ex­change, and trans­fer­ring tech­nol­ogy be­tween the two coun­tries. The sign­ing cer­e­mony took place in Bangladesh dur­ing a re­cent visit by a Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion to ex­plore av­enues for ap­parel sourc­ing and in­vest­ment. China views Bangladesh as a pro­gres­sive coun­try that man­u­fac­tures qual­ity prod­ucts with ap­pro­pri­ate ma­chin­ery and man­age­ment. More­over, given Bangladesh’s flour­ish­ing gar­ment in­dus­try, China has shown in­creased in­ter­est in es­tab­lish­ing trade ties in the tex­tile sec­tor.

The Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion’s visit comes at a time when the ris­ing la­bor costs and short­age of work­ers are hin­der­ing the progress of the tex­tile sec­tor in China. Although the coun­try has dom­i­nated the global mar­ket by pro­duc­ing qual­ity prod- ucts where the ap­parel in­dus­try is no ex­cep­tion, it views Bangladesh as a key re­gional des­ti­na­tion. China’s domestic cloth­ing mar­ket has also seen sub­stan­tial growth. This gives Bangladesh an op­por­tu­nity to en­ter into un­ex­ploited Chi­nese mar­kets and in­crease its own stan­dard of liv­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment, China will shift some of its tex­tile pro­duc­tion to Bangladesh to make use of cheap la­bor, which the South Asian na­tion read­ily of­fers. This will help China in­vest in ar­eas where Bangladesh has im­mense po­ten­tial but lacks di­rec­tion and ca­pac­ity. Fur­ther­more, ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment China can also take ad­van­tage of the duty-free ac­cess that Bangladesh en­joys for its ex­ports to the EU, Aus­tralia and the Far East.

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