Export Competitiveness of Bangladesh Readymade Garments Sector
Challenges and Prospects
Keywords:Export Market, Export Competitiveness, Trade Entropy Index, Bangladesh, RMG Sector
The paper evaluates the competitiveness of Bangladesh Readymade Garments (RMG) sector in the global RMG market through Market share analysis using two-digit classifications of Harmonized System (HS)data for the period covering 2012 to 2016 to understand the actual condition of sector’s export comparison with its competitors. While Trade Entropy index has also been calculated to make an attempt to understand the geographical dispersion of export market scenario using two-digit classifications of HS data for the time period between 2006 and 2016. The findings of the paper based on market share analysis illustrate that Bangladesh’s RMG export share in the global market reached 7.50percentin 2016, a shot up by 2.73 percentage points, indicating an increase in export competitiveness, whereas China’s share declined to 33.75 percentin 2016, with an exception to 2013. During this period, Vietnam and India’s market share increased by 2.24, and 0.72 percentage points respectively, making them the 3rd and 6th largest RMG exporter in the world. Trade Entropyindex calculationindicates that the geographical diversification of Bangladesh’s RMG export has increased considering the value of the index, it has increased more than two times during this time period. But, in spite of increasing geographical diversification of the RMG sector market, itsexport is still heavily concentrated on two markets: the European UnionEU (28), and the United States of America (USA). The paper also provides a set of policyrecommendations that wouldbe helpful to both RMG sector stakeholders and policymakers to move forward the sector towards more export competitiveness.
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