Bangladesh garment sales soar despite deadly incidents

DHAKA Sun Jun 9, 2013 2:05pm IST

The clothing tag on a boy's shirt which is made in Bangladesh is shown after purchase from a Walmart store in Encinitas, California, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The clothing tag on a boy's shirt which is made in Bangladesh is shown after purchase from a Walmart store in Encinitas, California, May 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

Related Topics

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh's exports rose 15.43 percent in May to $2.54 billion from a year earlier thanks to stronger clothing sales, the Export Promotion Bureau said on Sunday, even as the country reviews safety standards at factories after two deadly incidents.

Garment exports totalled $19.3 billion for the 11 months that ended in May, nearly 12 percent more than a year earlier.

The sharp increase comes as the government weighs industry reform after the collapse in April of the Rana Plaza factory complex killed 1,129 people. A fire at another factory last year killed 112.

The incidents have put the government, industrialists and the global brands that use the factories under pressure to reform an industry that employs four million and generates 80 percent of Bangladesh's export earnings.

Total exports in the first 11 months of Bangladesh's July-June financial year were $24.32 billion, compared with $21.97 billion over the same period the previous year.

Monthly exports had fallen year-on-year from March through June as the global economic slowdown weighed on demand. But exports have since picked up, with a 10.67 percent rise in the July-May period.

Duty-free access offered by Western countries and low wages have helped make Bangladesh the world's second-largest apparel exporter after China, with 60 percent of clothes going to Europe and 23 percent to the United States.

The European Union and the United States had threatened punitive measures in order to press Dhaka to improve worker safety standards after the collapse in April of the illegally built factory. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

FILED UNDER:

Religion and Politics

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the "last mile".  Full Article 

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Hopeful Dhoni

Hopeful Dhoni

India's new vintage nearly ready, says Dhoni.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Ali Hospitalized

Ali Hospitalized

Boxing great Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage