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BD eyes $15bn textile exports by 2011

September 03, 2006

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DHAKA, Sept 2: Bangladesh manufacturers forecast on Saturday that textile exports would double to more than $15 billion in five years as the country profits from a quota-free global trade regime.

Textile exports posted a record 24pc increase to $7.9 billion in the year ended June 30, as manufacturers' prices proved highly competitive under the quota-free regime launched on January 1, 2005.

“Last year we had tremendous growth. The quota-free textile regime has proved to be a big boost for our factories,” said Fazlul Hoque, president of the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

“We're confident we can now keep the growth momentum intact and double our exports to more than $15 billion in the next five years,” he told reporters in Dhaka.

Bangladesh textile factories were initially written off as a sector headed for disaster after the withdrawal of quotas that had given its exports guaranteed access to major markets like the United States.

Multinational financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF had said the country faced more than a 30 per cent drop in exports in the first year after quota withdrawal because it was feared the industry was not sufficiently developed to compete on a global scale.

They also predicted massive social chaos from a fall in export trade as garment factories account for 40 per cent of the country's industrial jobs. —AFP