The government is searching for causes behind a slow progress in grabbing the global market of high-end apparel products despite Bangladesh being the second-largest garment exporter, officials have said.
Stakeholders say around 5.0 per cent of total Bangladeshi apparel exports contains high-end fashion products.
They said there is a scope to raise the share of high-end products if the government comes forward with necessary supports.
The government last week formed an inter-ministerial body led by commerce secretary Dr Jafar Uddin to identify the challenges in producing high-end fashion products, devise strategy to explore new markets and recommend ways to face post-LDC challenges successfully.
The committee was tasked with assessing the capacity to face possible barriers and steps needed to attain the target of earning $50 billion by exporting apparel. It was also asked to submit a report within two months.
Talking to the FE on Monday, commerce ministry's additional secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said there are various shortcomings of Bangladesh manufacturers in producing high-end fashion products.
He said some leading entrepreneurs have started producing high-quality wardrobes but still that is very small portion.
"We want to identify the reasons and find ways to transform towards fashionable clothing," said Mr Ghosh, also member-secretary of the committee.
Former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Siddiqur Rahman told the FE that local manufacturers have capacity constraints in producing high-end products.
"No backward linkage industry for stylish garment has so far developed. High-quality fashion designers have also not been created," he said, adding that Bangladeshi workers are not trained in producing basic garments till now.
In most cases, Mr Rahman also said, the work order for high-end products comes in small quantity which Bangladeshi manufacturers don't find profitable.
Sophisticated raw materials are also not easily available in this region, he added.
"We need to train our workers for producing fashionable products and well-trained designers are also needed for the sector," he said
In fiscal year 2018-19, Bangladesh exported apparel worth $34.13 billion, registering an 11.49 per cent growth year-on-year.
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