RMG export to Japan hits $1bn-mark

April 25, 2023

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The country’s readymade garment (RMG) exports to Japan continued to grow by more than 43% to cross the billion-dollar mark in the first nine months of the current FY23.

Bangladesh exported apparel items worth $1.22 billion to Japan marking a 43.79% growth during July-March period in the ongoing FY23, according to data of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

The earnings were $849.64 million during the corresponding period of last FY22.

Shipments to the Far East Asian country had declined for two consecutive fiscal years beginning FY20 and bounced back in the last fiscal year, according to official data.

Apparel exports doubled in the last decade, thanks to efforts to meet the Japanese standard and the government’s policy support like cash incentive, said industry insiders.

They also attributed this rise in exports to Japan’s China-plus policy and relaxation in its rules of origin.

Locally-made knit items have been enjoying a duty-free facility in the Japanese market since April 2011 and woven items since April 2014, although raw materials are imported, they added.

Bangladesh fetched $944.82 million in FY21.

RMG exports to Japan first crossed the billion-dollar mark with $1.091-billion earnings in FY19.

Apparel exports, including knit and woven items, to Japan were $478.48 million in FY13 which was only $74.33 million in FY09.

According to a recent Unctad report, preferential access to Japan for duty-free treatment of T&C (textile and clothing) products for the targeted LDCs largely depends on their membership to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Bangladesh and Nepal will be subject to the GSP or MFN (most favoured nation) rate in their exports to Japan as they are not part of Asean and therefore do not benefit from the Asean-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa), it noted.

They will face tariffs on their clothing exports ranging from 8.5-9%.

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