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"Huge potential" in Bangladesh-India textile trade

There is "huge potential" for further collaboration between Bangladesh and India in the textile and apparel industry, with opportunities for both countries, according to the president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

The comments came as BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman met with a 25-member delegation of Indian exporters of yarn and fabric, led by Ujwal R Lahoti, chairman of the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil), in Dhaka last week.

The event was organised by the BGMEA to facilitate a "meaningful business interaction" between Bangladeshi apparel exporters and the Indian yarn and fabric suppliers .

"I hope there will be more exchanges between our two countries in coming days," The Independent quoted Rahman as saying.

"India is a highly potential market for us. The middle-class population in India is growing fast and their buying power is also increasing. Global brands and retailers are opening stores in India," the report added. "Moreover we import most of our cotton, fabrics and other materials from India to produce garments here."

However, challenges remain including a lack of capacity at land custom ports, particularly in Petrapole, and non-payment issues, which Rahman noted as the major barriers.

Meanwhile, Tseten Nordon Cargyal, head of chancery of the Indian High Commission to Bangladesh, added the India-Bangladesh relationship has grown exceptionally in the past few years, while Lahoti noted Bangladesh is an important trading partner for India, adding there is a need for extending ties between textile exporters and suppliers.

"This meeting is the first milestone in the long-term cooperation and business prospect between the members of BGMEA and Texprocil," he said.

According to an overview of Bangladesh on re:source, the new online strategic planning tool from the team behind just-style, the country is the world's second-largest ready-made garment exporter, worth around US$28bn per year, thanks to its low labour costs, abundant labour, and duty-free access to western markets. The country is the number one cotton importer in the world, importing about 6.2m 480lb bales of cotton each year, with the major share (2.5m bales) coming from India.

Meanwhile, India's exports have risen steadily since the abolition of quotas, to the point where it is now the world's fourth-largest garment exporter and the second largest supplier of textiles. It is also the world's largest producer of cotton.

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