Trade War is good news for bangladesh

- Mar 21, 2019-

Two dogs strive for a bone, and a third runs away with it.Who is the fisherman in the "fight" of a trade war between China and the United States?Maybe Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Bangladesh's garment exports will see rapid growth in the current fiscal year (2018-2019) amid escalating trade disputes between China and the United States, industry insiders said, foreign media reported.Indonesian industry minister Airlangga Hartarto also said recently that a trade war between China and the United States provides new opportunities for Indonesia's development.

Bangladesh's garment Export revenue rose 14.17 per cent year-on-year to $23.12bn between July 2018 and February 2019, according to the country's Export Promotion Bureau.In addition, exports of woven garments rose 14.84 percent year-on-year to $11.63 billion, while exports of knitwear rose 13.50 percent to $11.49 billion.

"The growth of our garment exports is mainly affected by the trade war between China and the United States, and many factory orders are being shifted from China to Bangladesh due to the ongoing trade war between the United States and China."M Siddiqur Rahman, President of the Bangladesh garment manufacturers and exporters association (BGMEA), told the country's new nation newspaper yesterday.

According to Siddiqur Rahman, the country's garment factories have taken on a new look and people's working conditions have been greatly improved after the rectification and treatment. The image of Bangladesh's garment industry has been greatly improved compared with the past, which makes many international buyers willing to bring orders to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is the world's second-largest clothing exporter after China, and Siddiqur Rahman said: "Bangladesh has seen a sustained increase in orders from us buyers starting in 2018.At a time of rising trade tensions between the us and China, us retailers have adopted a diversified sourcing strategy.Siddiqur Rahma added: "" in 2018, our apparel exports to the us grew by 6.65 per cent.

Bangladesh's apparel export revenue to the U.S. market was $5.4 billion in 2018, compared with $5.06 billion in 2017, according to official data released by the department of commerce's office of textiles and apparel (OTEXA).

By contrast, China's clothing exports to the us rose only 1.34 per cent in 2018 to $27.37bn (33 per cent of the us market).

"The current trend in clothing exports is encouraging.This trend is expected to continue in the coming months to help Bangladesh's garment industry achieve double-digit growth this fiscal year, "said Siddiqur Rahma.

Last fiscal year, Bangladesh exported $30.61 billion worth of apparel products, up 8.76% from a year earlier, according to the Bangladesh export promotion bureau.Apparel accounted for 83 percent of Bangladesh's total exports in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

"A sino-us trade war creates a very good opportunity for Bangladesh's garment exporters.Bangladesh's garment export earnings will continue to soar amid trade conflicts.BGMEA's former President Abdus Salam Murshedy told the new nation.Abdus Salam noted that the tariffs have made it more expensive for U.S. retailers to source and make goods in China, and that to control costs, many U.S. retailers are shifting their sourcing from China to more cost-efficient manufacturing centers like Bangladesh.

"A large number of sellers from the United States will support our garment exports and help our garment industry achieve rapid growth this fiscal year," Abdus Salam added.

New opportunities for Indonesia

Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia's industry minister, said many companies making textiles and shoes were exploring opportunities to move production from China to Indonesia.Airlangga Hartarto also noted that Indonesia is exporting more steel to the United States.Indonesian steel exports to the United States rose 87.7 percent year-on-year from January to November 2018, while Indonesia's overall exports to the United States rose 3 percent, according to the ministry of trade.

However, Airlangga, Indonesia's industry minister, also said that setting aside the opportunities Indonesia would get, a trade war could ultimately damage global economic development, which would not be good for any country. "I don't think the new normal of slow growth is good for everyone...However, it is not enough to create jobs for the Indonesian people."