Japan looks to Bangladesh for leather apparel

Bangladesh
Published:  08 September, 2014

Japan has turned into a major export destination for Bangladeshi products as exports to the country are on the rise, thanks to an increased demand for apparel and leather items at competitive prices.

Riding on the back of generalised system of preferences, exports from Bangladesh to Japan increased by 14.9% to $862.08 million in 2013-14 fiscal year from $750.3 million in the previous year, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Export of ready-made garment, leather and footwear items constitutes the highest share of the increased earnings from Japanese market. Bangladesh shipped apparel worth $572.3 million to Japan in the 2013-14 fiscal year. The figure was $478.5 million the previous fiscal year, according to the EPB.

Earnings shot up more than seven times in just five years, thanks to the "China Plus One" policy that the Japanese government adopted in 2008 with a view to reducing its overdependence on China. Japan has a $35 billion market of apparels and Chinese exporters hold an 80% share of this huge market.

With the adoption of the new policy, Japanese importers started outsourcing garment items and other products from Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.

In 2013-14 fiscal year, the earning of Bangladesh from exporting leather goods and footwear products to Japan stood at $138.2 million, 65.4% higher from a year before.

Saiful Islam, Managing Director of Picard Bangladesh that makes shoes and leather accessories, said the export rise was largely because of the relaxation of rules of origin by the Japan government. “Japan might be our next export destination for leather goods and footwear items,” he said.

Source: The Daily Star

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