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This would be used by the Corporate banking division of Citi bank.

Executive Summary The research has been carried out to find out the future prospects of the knitwear industry, its opportunities and threats. This would be used by the Corporate Banking division of Citibank N.A. to review their Vendor Marketing Program, as to what extent the knitwear sector should be incorporated into the program. The knitwear industry has been faring really well in the post-MFA era. It has posted over 35 percent increases in exports in the first quarter of 2005 compared to the same quarter last year. All the firms surveyed had huge increases in exports compared to the same period of the previous year. BKMEA is surpassing the government set export target in the current fiscal year, with total exports predicted to exceed US$ 3000 million. The trend analysis carried out shows that by the end of the year 2007-2008, the export value could reach over US$ 5000, with the total number of knitwear firms likely to exceed the 1000 mark. GSP facilities, cheap labor, backwar linkage, less lead time and the industrialization of the RMG sector in the past years have been the strengths of knitwear sector as indicated by the responses of the experts and owners. GSP facilities have enabled the knitwear sector to capture the European market. The GSP revision would allow Bangladesh to benefit even more, as in addition to the present duty free status, will also become free from complying certain minimum local value addition requirement. It has been however, hindered to certain extent due to low productivity, outdated equipment and over-priced yarn, high interest rates and concentration only on a few markets. There cumulative scores for opportunities have exceeded that of the threats, with the average score given by each expert being 2.33 higher than the threats (in a score of 5). This was because the removal of quotas in the post-MFA would allow the segment to explore into more markets, namely the US. Moreover restrictions imposed on China by the EU and the US is likely to shift buyers towards countries like Bangladesh. China itself may outsource to Bangladesh as it produces lower valued items and cannot meet its local demand.

India is becoming the biggest threat to our knitwear sector, as it has huge incentives for the manufacturers and produces its own cotton, therefore lowering the cost of production almost 25 percent with similar valued items. On the other hand, owners of the knitwear factories in Bangladesh had to buy local yarns at higher price and buyers were stated to switch even for a price edge of 1 percent. To add to that, cash incentives had been stalled and BKMEA has urged for at least 15 percent cash incentives to keep up the competitiveness of the knitwear sector. To keep up the growth of the sector experts in the sector have called for marketing improvements (forward linkage), cash incentives from the government, penetrating the US market (knitwear is focused in the EU market), and reducing the cost of production by ensuring lower priced yarns and lower interest rate. If the knitwear sector continues to grow in the present manner, it is likely to come up as the major export earner of the country. Moreover the growth is likely to support the backward linkage industries like textiles and the dying industries. A combined effort is needed from the private sector as well as the government to keep up the trend in the global competition. Introduction 1.1 Background With the integration of MFA into GATT, Bangladesh is bound to experience a few changes. These changes are likely to take place at various levels in various forms. One of the changes has been the rise in the export of knitwear of Bangladesh. Keeping this in mind and for the requirement of the VMP Program of Citibank’s Corporate Banking, a research has been conducted which studies the impact of quota withdrawal on the Knitwear section of the RMG industry. The initial secondary research process had identified that the even though the quota phase out may cause the RMG industry to face certain difficulties, the knitwear section is likely to have a greater rate of growth in the post-MFA era. Hence, the problem statement for this paper is, “Post MFA will see a significant rise in the growth of knitwear industry”. 1.2 Objectives Broad Objective No. 1: Identify the source and level of growth that will be created in the knitwear export. i. Identify the number of firms in the export oriented knitwear sector.

ii. Identify the knitwear exports value that is likely to be achieved in the post MFA period. iii. Identify the number of firms likely to come up during the post MFA. iv. Identify the factors that will lead to the growth of knitwear in the post MFA period v. Identify the number of firms likely to close down vi. Identify the additional services that the existing companies are going to avail. vii. Identify the total prospect for financial companies. Broad Objective No. 2: Identify the opportunities for knitwear and the linked industries viii.

Identify and assess the measures that would help the firms to grow

ix. Identifying the opportunities and threats for knitwear firms in post-MFA period x. Identifying trade agreements that might affect the export growth xi. Finding out about the regulations that might affect the scenario xii. Finding out the type of linked industries that might be affected 1.3 Scope 1. The survey sample frame is limited to the factories situated in Dhaka. This excludes those located inside the EPZ and in other places like Chittagong. 2. The factories surveyed either manufacture knit garments only or both woven and knitwear. This is because the research deals with the effect on the export of knitwear garments only. 3. Only the effects of the three months in the post MFA period have been studied. Hence, other factors that may arise after the period has not been considered. 4. The report is restricted only on the prospects of knitwear industries and only a small study has been done regarding impact on Citigroup The project was assigned only to find out the prospect of knitwear industries. RMG are mass-produced finished textile products of the clothing industry. 1.4 Methodology 1.4.1 Type of study The study took place in two stages. In the first phase exploratory research has been undertaken to gain better understanding of the dimensions of the problem. This research was

carried out by going through secondary research materials. To get the appropriate picture of the situation and also to prepare the questionnaire. The second phase of the research involved a descriptive research. The study tried to find out the effect on the knitwear industry after January 1, 2005, and the opportunities that are coming up. To analyze this, an intensive research was made. The techniques and results of the result are presented in this report. 1.4.2

Intent of study

The intention of this study is to determine the extent of impact on the knitwear industry after the MFA has been lifted. It looks at the impact from the perspective of the industry and the perspective of the owners. The economic impact has been focused on, as the study was carried out with the instructions of the Head of Corporate Banking, Citigroup to analyze the opportunities of the bank to take part in the process. 1.4.3 Definition of population For the purpose of the research, two sets of population have been considered. The first set consists of experts. They are mainly those people who have carried out or are carrying out researches on the RMG sector and are in a position to know the actual situation prevailing in the industry. The second population set consists of owners of knitwear garments. While there are a total of 848 knitwear garments in the industry, the number of owners is much less because one factory owner usually has one or two more, especially if it’s a large firm. 1.4.4 Sample design & technique A non-probabilistic sampling technique was used to collect respondents for its survey purposes. For the first sample frame, convenient sampling was used to pick its respondents. This was the only the respondents could be collected as majority of them have a busy schedule and often can not spare time. Some respondents chosen for the purpose like Mr. Kutubuddin Ahmed, Present Chairman of MCCI & Former President of BGMEA, and Mr. Fazlul Haque, President of BKMEA could not give the time needed. Hence through convenience sampling the following people have been interviewed:

Table 1.1: Designation & contacts info of Experts


Name of





company BKMEA

Executive (R&D),

National Plaza

Number 9673337


(4th floor), 1/E


Free School Street, Sonargaon Mohammad


Abdus Samad

Senior Executive

Road National Plaza


(4th floor), 1/E



Free School Street, Sonargaon

Quazi Zasim


Additional Secretary

Road BTMC Bhaban,


7-9, Karwan


Sr. Executive,

Bazaar BTMC Bhaban,

Research Cell,

7-9, Karwan







For the second sample frame, i.e. the owners of the knitwear companies, we used a mixture of snowball sampling and convenient sampling. Table 1.2: Contacts info of Garments Factory Owners


Name of

Siraj ul Islam

company MBM




Asst. Vice

M19 & M14,

Number 8011157, ext-


Section 14,


Mirpur, Dhaka 1206.

Md. Alamgir

Square Knit




Mascot Plaza


Manager, A&F (11th-12th floor),


Plot # 107/A, Sector #7, Uttara Model

Md. Azizul

Alif Group



M&J Group


Chairman &

Town 21/22, Babar



Road, Block-B,






Dhaka-1207 Concord

8118457 8814048,







C/A, Dhaka Mr. Abid

Floret Fashion


1205 315/B Tejgaon

Hassan Khan



Industrial Area



Data collection method

The data collected are from both primary and secondary sources. The secondary sources included the various national and international newspapers, journals, websites and also published material supplied by some of the respondents. The primary data were collected through surveys. Beside a fixed questionnaire, in-depth interviews of a few experts were taken to help understand the situation better and from different angles. 1.4.6


The questionnaire was prepared two times. Initially a test questionnaire was prepared for the experts. Initially, the questionnaire was prepared based on the research questions and then finalized based on the interviews taken of the experts. There were 2 sets of questionnaires – 1- Pre-test and Re-set questionnaire for the Experts 2Pre-test and Re-set questionnaire for the Owners. These questionnaires have been provided in the Appendix.

Figure 1.1: Sample of questionnaire for owners


Analysis Techniques

Various analysis techniques have been used to analyze data in order to fulfill the objectives of the report. Some of these techniques are described below: Trend analysis – This was used to find out the extent of growth in the number of firms and the volume of exports of the knitwear industries in the post MFA era. The trend was created using the data of the knitwear growth of the first quarter of the year 2005. Frequency – Frequency tables are used quite a number of times in this report, e.g. to identify reasons behind the growth of individual firms. It allows the reader to easily understand the rate of recurrence of a particular option. Using this technique we were able to identify the reason most likely to have affected the growth for the owners employees. SWOT Analysis – Since the total impact of the removal of MFA is still to be seen in the days to come, and the impact global competition is yet to be felt, there is need to analyze certain opportunities that may open up or threats that may need to be faced. The Knitwear sector also has certain strengths and weaknesses which will decide how it will fare in the face of these opportunities and threats. The SWOT was done on basis of research and as well as factors cited by experts and owners.

2 Overview of City Group 2.1 Citygroup Citigroup is the renowned global financial services company with over 200 million-customer accounts in 104 countries across six continents. It is the first financial services company to bring together banking, insurance and investments under the same name. It provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Citigroup, ranked one of the world’s 10 most respected companies, has the most diverse array of products and the greatest distribution capacity of any financial firm in the world. Citigroup generated revenues of $86.2 billion in 2004, which produced net income of $17 billion. The equity base increased 13 percent to $115.5 billion (including Trust Preferred Securities) and the balance sheet reached $1.5 trillion. It reported record net income for the first quarter of 2005 of $5.44 billion, or $1.04 per share, both increasing 3% from the first quarter of 2004. The first quarter results include a $272 million after tax charge for repositioning costs comprised of $151 million in corporate and investment banking, $95 million in global consumer, $22 million in global wealth management and $4 million in asset management. Globally, there were 300,000 employees in 2004. The major brand names under Citigroup's trademark red umbrella include City Cards, City Financial, City Mortgage, City Insurance, Primerica, Diners Club, Citigroup Asset Management, The City group Private Bank, and City Capital. Our goal for Citigroup is to be the most respected global financial services company. Like any other public company, we’re obligated to deliver profits and growth to our shareholders. Of equal importance is to deliver those profits and generate growth responsibly. - Chuck Prince, CEO Citigroup

It was voted the most respected financial services company in the world in a recent survey of 1, 000 CEOs across 25 countries, conducted by the Financial Times and PriceWaterhouse Cooper. It was ranked 8th overall among all companies, up from 31st place last year. It also ranked 12th in the categories of good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. Citigroup has shown durability, stability and continuous growth over the decades, and is now the most global company in the world. - The Financial Times


Citigroup, Bangladesh

Citigroup started its operation in Bangladesh during 1987, by opening of a representative office. The main function of the bank at that time was limited to correspondent banking, L/C confirmation, credit appraisal of companies for Citigroup Hong Kong, Singapore, India etc. Based on the strengths with respect to global network, expertise in financial services and technology based delivery capabilities, Citigroup Bangladesh had been able to establish as one of the largest overseas correspondents for the nationalized banks in Bangladesh. Fullfledged operation of Citigroup started on June 24, 1995. Citigroup is a 100% owned branch office of Citibank, New York. Then on June 18, 2000 a new full service branch was opened in Chittagong, the commercial capital of Bangladesh. The branch is now operating business in a commercial hub of the city side-by-side most of its other counterparts. A third branch of Citigroup has started functioning Gulshan, Dhaka. In this very short span of time, and with limited human resource of 93 permanent employees, Citigroup has been able to make a place for itself. In the year 2004, the bank’s net profit was Tk.38 crore. The operation of Citigroup in Bangladesh is still conservative and limited to serving financial needs of the leading business and corporate houses (through treasury operations, cash management, lending etc) although the bank has a plan to go for consumer banking in near future. 2.3

Bangladesh: As a Part of Citibank’s Global Market

Citigroup worldwide is structured in two divisions: GRB (Global Relationship Banking), which includes all the markets in the developed world and deals with those MNCs that are Citibank’s clients all over the world; and EM (Emerging Markets), which basically includes the markets in the developing world. Emerging Market is again divided into three geographic segments: Latin America, Asia Pacific and CEEMA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa). Bangladesh is one of 74 countries that fall under the head of Emerging Markets. Bangladesh belongs to the region, CEEMEA (Central Eastern Europe Middle East Africa), which includes 38 countries. In each of such regions, countries belong to different clusters; a cluster forms with 4/5 geographically close countries and the representative from the largest country in the cluster is chosen to be the Cluster Head. The cluster in which Bangladesh belongs to also includes India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The regional head office of Citigroup Bangladesh is located at Mumbai, India.

2.4 Structure of the Bank The bank is structured according to the four product divisions: Corporate Banking, Financial Institutions, Cash Management and Treasury. There are also four other departments that can be termed as support and these are Operations, Credit Administration, Financial Control and Human Resource. An organogram is included overleaf for better visual clarity. 2.5 Corporate Banking Corporate Banking in Citibank is divided into two main segments: •

GRB (Global Relationship Banking), in which the RMs basically deal with the clients (multinational companies in Bangladesh) with whom Citigroup has global relationship. There is a single Parent Account Manager (PAM) in the country of origin of that MNC who is responsible for looking into the credit relationship between Citibank and the company worldwide. Any credit extended to the company has to be approved by the PAM.

TTLC (Top Tier Local Corporate), as the name suggests is the segment in which only the top performers (basically the first three ranked companies) of any industry are approached to be Citibank’s clients. The VMP program involving the RMG industries is part of this sector.

Citibank provides both deposit products and loan products to its corporate clients. The loan products are of varying tenor and purpose. Citibank Bangladesh also provides structured finance products. The main activities involved in Corporate Banking division of the bank include: communication with customers and calls. The RMs (Relationship Mangers) try to establish contact with key CBG customers; know about the status of their capabilities. The next step is to collect customer information and make a detailed analysis of the needs of the client matched with what the bank can offer. After agreement of both parties, the bank gets approval from the lending unit. Once a company has become a client with credit relationship, the RMs then have to monitor the performance of the company and ensure that no classification of credit occurs. Every year, Citigroup, Bangladesh has to submit to the cluster head the macro-economic indicators of the country and also the performance of the sub-sectors, and based on these, the portfolio is revised as to how much Citigroup can get involved in each sector. The Products Offered by the Corporate Banking Division Corporate Finance

Corporate finance and other credit products constitute the core of commercial banking services. Citibank offers a full range of financing options that are tailor-made to each of the circumstances of each client. The lending products are customized based on purpose, tenor, currency and other criteria. The products and services offered are: •

Credit Structures enhanced by Export Credit Agencies

Commercial Paper or Fixed Income Securities

Syndicated Loans

Project Finance

Working Capital Finance

This is basically the funding provided for financing of a particular working capital need, which can either be short-term loan or overdrafts. Some common forms of working capital finance are financing of inventory or raw material purchase, receivable financing for both export and domestic etc. The products and services offered are: •

Pre-export and Import Finance

Receivable Financing

Trade Finance

Citigroup has another major business with its business community, which is Trade Services. With its online system available globally, Citigroup Bangladesh can offer its customers swift processing service, which is crucial to any trade customer of a bank. Besides customers can open, amend, and transmit L/Cs online from their own premises using Citibanking system. Major trade finance products and services are: •

Letters of Credit

Export L/C Advising & Transfer

Guarantees: Bid, Performance, Financial

Discounting / Refinancing of Acceptances and L/C L/C Confirmation

Documentary Collections / Negotiations

2.6 Financial Institutions The Financial Institutions department caters for the need of various banks and non-bank financial institutions as well as NGOs, not-for-profit organizations and diplomatic missions. The core product is the correspondent banking services. Besides there are various electronic banking services, which enable FI, clients perform large domestic and international transactions efficiently and safely.

With presence in more than 100 countries in the world, Citibank N.A. is one of the largest correspondent banks for international trade services. Citibank N.A. is one of the leading global correspondent banks of financial institutions operating in Bangladesh. The FI customers include the largest nationalized commercial banks, which account for approximately 50% share of the country’s financial market, as well as top tier private sector commercial banks. Citibank is a member of CHIPS and the largest processor of US dollar payments in New York. There are more than 28,000 US Dollar accounts of financial institutions and corporates maintained in Citibank, NY. On average, Citibank NY transfers funds worth $500 billion per day to beneficiaries all over the world. Customers can avail a variety of account services such as payments processing in US Dollar and other currencies, check collections, investment of funds in overnight or long term money market products, view / download daily account statements etc. Primary Activities of FI Department FI department mainly facilitates international trade conducted by Citibank, Bangladesh. Citibank does L/C advising, confirming, transferring, guranting and negotiating and reimbursing. In order to do so the FI department of the bank provides the local banks direct facilities or credit lines that includes OSTBT (Ordinary Short-term Banking Transaction), Local bill discounting, CTC credit line etc. Credit line for treasury purpose includes PSR facilities. Like the CBG Department, the FI-RMs also try to establish contact with FI customers. After that, the RMs collect customer information and make a detailed analysis of the needs of the client matched with what the bank can offer. After agreement of both parties, the bank gets approval from the lending unit. Major FI products and services are: US Dollar Demand Deposit Account with Citibank NY With this NOSTRO account FI customer can check the daily statements of transactions. The statement lists all debits, credits and the closing balance and also contains pertinent details necessary for immediate reconcilement. The statements are downloaded electronically by Citibank, Dhaka from overseas branch office’s system and printed on hard copy and delivered to customer’s office. In response to the customers’ needs Citibank is also in a position to maintain additional accounts in other currencies (EURO / ACU). •

Sweep and Investment Services / Overnight Investment Facility

Overnight Investment facilities are provided for any balance with Citibank, NY in excess of USD 50,000. This facility enables the customers to earn interest in their operating accounts.

Automated Funds Transfer Facility With state-of-the-art technology (SWIFT interface) available to Citibank, the bank is able to pass on customers’ instructions to transfer FCY funds and inter-bank FX settlement to its overseas branch where NOSTRO account is maintained. Reimbursement Authority Processing The reimbursement facility is linked to the customer’s proposed NOSTRO account. The LCRA (L/C Reimbursement Authority) instructions are picked up from the designated branch of the customers and pre-processed in Dhaka and Chittagong offices and transmitted to overseas unit where NOSTRO account is maintained. The Dhaka and Chittagong offices of Citibank N.A Bangladesh coordinate with the branches and the overseas counterpart to resolve the issue in order to provide superior services to the clients. Letters of Credit Advising / Advising With the aid of test-key arrangement, SWIFT Key exchange and/or exchange of authorized specimen signature booklet, Citibank’s global network is available for advising L/C. Citibank also provides L/C amendments service. Pre-Debit Advice A pre-debit advice is also provided on daily basis at free of cost for funding customers’ accounts smoothly once they start using the account for reimbursement purpose. Customers receive pre-debit advice through SWIFT directly from Citibank New York. •

Electronic Banking / e-Business

Citibank e-Business offers the customers an innovative approach to domestic, cross-border and regional banking solutions. In Bangladesh Citibank primarily offers Paylink, Citibanking, and CitiDirect as e-solutions. 2.7 Cash Management Cash Management deals mainly with deposit collection i.e. is involved in liability management of the bank. For this, the team has to go out on calls to bring about customer deposits and get companies to open account with Citibank. Cash Management team works closely with the corporate division and with FI department (For NGOs, NBFIs, Insurance Companies and Diplomatic mission). The products and services offered from this department include: •

Online fund transfer between Dhaka and Chittagong.

Efficient collection mechanisms at different outstation points.

Secured electronic payment mechanism at over 100 locations across the country.

Innovative and competitive deposit products.

Web-based electronic banking services.

Prompt distribution of inward remittance at competitive rates.

Mobile banking.

Citibank is in a position to offer customized services with the help of state-of-the-art technology to support high volume of payments and collections. The Citibank products such as World link enable effective payment in more than 40 currencies through drafts or wire transfers. Simultaneously, the strong relationships of Citibank , Bangladesh with the nationalized commercial banks within the country enables payments to reach virtually to all the corners of Bangladesh. On the collection side, the New York based automated check processing capability of Citibank assists in obtaining proceeds of clean checks with the minimal of turn-around time. With well-structured courier arrangement and relationships with other banks, Citibank is capable of substantially reducing transit time for local collections and thereby, assisting in better management of funds. Besides, Citibank is playing an important role in facilitating fund remittance by expatriate Bangladeshi workers. In collaboration with Saudi-American Bank (SAMBA), Agrani Bank and Islami Bank as local counterpart, Citigroup Dhaka office introduced new products called Speed Cash and Safe Draft to facilitate quick funds transfer for the Bangladeshi expatriates working in K.S.A. Citigroup, Bangladesh is now exploring the opportunities of extending similar services to other parts of the globe, especially in Middle East countries Great Britain and Malaysia where the number of Bangladeshi workers are high. Major cash management products and services are: •

Account Services

Domestic and International Payments & Collections

Outstation Check & Cash Collections

Cash Pick-up & Delivery

Travelers’ Cheques



Speed Cash

Safe Draft



The treasury of Citibank Bangladesh meets all the foreign exchange related requirements of the valued corporate customers. Citibank Bangladesh Treasury has been giving excellent and innovative services to the clients since its inception in 1995. These clients can establish direct contact with the treasury for their foreign exchange requirements. Their local and global strength in treasury products enables them to offer the most competitive foreign exchange rates for Spot and Forward transactions. Apart from competitive foreign exchange rates Citibank has other value added treasury services: The products and services offered by this department include: •

Foreign Exchange o Ready & Spot o Forward o Currency Swaps o Deposits for Various Maturities o Bills Discounting o Inter-bank Term Deposits •

Money Market

o Overnight Deposits o Term Deposits o Discounted Securities Citibank is also a very active player in the country’s Swap Market. They are always working very closely with Central Bank and other regulatory organizations to offer their local and international expertise for the development of new products and markets. 2.9

Other Departments

Credit Admin This department deals with credit risk or market risk of projects. Other responsibilities of the department include monitoring credit facility, checking the credit approvals prepared by the Relationship Managers, monitoring the Relationship Managers’ activities relating to plant visits. The Head of this unit reports to the Country Risk Manager (in case of Citibank, Bangladesh, it is the Chief Country Officer).

Financial Control The activities of this department include managing the financial books of the bank; checking all entries of the book are according to standards, preparing daily reports for Bangladesh Bank, revenue appropriation and calculations, setting the internal pricing rates etc. Operations, Technology & ICU (Internal Control Unit) The Operations department of the bank deals with account opening, deposit management, loan booking, L/C opening etc; the Technology part involves processing of transactions and maintenance; and ICU is involved in reconciliation of Nostra accounts and also making sure that every day the suspense account balance is 0. Human Resource The responsibilities involved in the Human Resource department include recruitment, selection, employee performance evaluation etc. Being a multinational bank, besides Citigroup policies, certain US laws are applicable to the operation of Citigroup in Bangladesh; anti money laundering and adhering to such general compliance issues of the bank are other major responsibilities of this department. Although compliance and human resource are two different sides, in Citigroup Bangladesh, both are headed by one individual.

3 Citigroup’s Vendor Marketing Program The Vendor Marketing Program of Citigroup N.A. offers short term Trade Finance & Services to qualified apparel exporters in Bangladesh. Although in the year 2004 Citigroup has approved of term loan facility of maximum US$ 2.5 million with a maximum tenor of three years under the program, considering the forthcoming post MFA scenario, it had proposed to hold the term loan facility till there is a clear picture of the garments export scenario of post MFA. At present the companies that are under the program are: 1- Sajid Apparels 2Matexport Ltd. 3- MBM Garments 4- Sunman Sweaters 5- Pacific Jeans 6Shanta Garments 7- Opex Sweaters 8- Giant Garments 9- BSF 10- Siam Superiors 11- Columbia Apparels 3.1 Target Market

Citigroup has taken a niche approach in selecting vendors and buyers with additional controls, whereby limiting the facilities only to those vendors with long track record and having a long term survival outlook, while on the buyer side limiting to those financially strong buyers (D&B rated 1-2, selectively 3) or Citibank’s GRB relationship. The facility offering is mainly limited to the trade cycle of the client with tenor of 180 days. The program limit is being renewed at existing level of $25 million. While Citigroup has introduced the risk return criteria in last renewal, the existing target market criteria of the program remains unchanged, which are: -

The target will have to be 100% ready-made garments manufacturers & exporters with group exports greater than US$ 10 million. This must be confirmed through BGMEA data, bank report or audited financials. Citigroup has proposed to continue with the existing minimum target level of US$ 10 million. At present, there are approximately 5060 vendors who have annual sales of US$ 10 million and above. Citigroup has lending relationship with 10 of them.


The present

facility is expected to be more or less utilized by the existing clients.

TM includes only those vendors who are dealing with reputed buyers and also will be subject to obtaining positive 3.2 Import Citibank opens Back to Back Import LC/amendments against Export LC under lien to it. Import bills under such Import LCs are scrutinized and applicant is informed about arrival of documents and both applicant & beneficiary are informed if any discrepancies arise. Import Loans are also offered if necessary if export funds are not realized, for making Import bill payments on maturity. Customers can also open Import LCs under EDF (Export Development Fund) offered by Bangladesh Bank. In a situation where the imported goods reach Bangladesh port before arrival of original import documents, Citigroup may issue a shipping guarantee (bank indemnity) in favor of the shipping line / agent for release of goods without endorsement of the Original Bill of Lading. 3.2.1 Import Back-to-Back LC issuance and amendment Citigroup receives LC opening or LC amendment application at its counter. The LC opening application is made in the bank-prescribed format and signed by authorized signatory of the customer. The application is time stamped and signature on application/Pro-forma Invoice/Indent/LCA/IMP is verified by designated Citigroup employee at the branch. Any alteration needed is to be duly authenticated by the customer.

The full set is then received by the OIC, Trade for his/her perusal. The application set is subsequently scanned and images authorized in CI and taken up by E-Serve for processing. E-Serve completes scrutiny of the application against checklist provided to them and passes the necessary entries through Trade Engine. The LC/amendment is transmitted through swift to overseas bank and customer copy of LC text & debit advice generated through TE (Trade Engine) is delivered to customer. A Fortnightly report for LC/amendment issuance is made to Chief Comptroller of Import & Export (regulatory body) and Monthly report of LCA and IMP reported to Bangladesh Bank. 3.2.2 Import Bill Scrutiny

Import documents are delivered by courier and received at Mail Desk. The document is time stamped and reviewed by OIC Trade. A unique reference is assigned by the branch. The document is scanned in CI and taken up for scrutiny by E-Serve. A detailed checklist is provided to E-Serve for scrutiny. After completion of scrutiny, a presentation memo is generated through TE which includes the document arrival notice and list of discrepancies (if any). Overseas bank is also advised of acceptance or declining of document. 3.2.3 EDF (Export Development Fund) Export Development Fund is a source of funding for financing foreign exchange import requirements of 100% export oriented industries for their imported inputs. The fund is owned by the Government of Bangladesh and managed by Bangladesh Bank. Bangladesh Bank uses EDF to refinance foreign exchange credits given by scheduled banks to eligible exporters. Under this arrangement, VMP customers may request for opening import Back to Back LCs on “Sight” basis. A monthly reporting to BBK needs to be done on LCs issued under EDF. A letter for refinancing has to be sent upon execution of payment of import bill. Accordingly, BBK provides a loan to the Bank for the bill amount for a maximum tenor of 180 days. Upon realization of export proceeds, the BBK loan is liquidated for principal + interest. All IBBS entries for booking and liquidation of EDF loans are passed by E-Serve. 3.2.4 Shipping Guarantee Customer letter and customer’s counter indemnity (duly signed by authorized signatories) is received at counter and time stamped, with signature verified. Customer provides acceptance of any and all discrepancies on original documents. Copy Invoice and Copy B/L is provided for Citibank’s perusal. Branch processes the guarantee by completing checklist for guarantee issuance. Necessary entries are passed/authorized in IBBS by Branch. 3.3 Export Export Bills submitted by customer at Citibank’s counters are either negotiated or sent on to overseas bank on collection basis. Upon realization of export proceeds, b/b LC payments, Packing Credits, EDF Loans are settled first and remaining balance credited to customer’s account as per their instructions.

3.3.1 Export Bills under Collection Export Document is received at counter, time stamped, and signature verified. A cover letter in the bank’s prescribed format is attached with the document. As per customer instruction, document is negotiated if document is clean or else negotiation is done with approval from BCC. Otherwise, document is sent under collection basis. For negotiation of discrepant documents, Trade Operations confirms continuation of the cross border exposure covering the import payment (if import liability is paid off from the proceeds of the negotiation) till receipt of the export proceeds at Citibank’s counter. The full set of document is scanned in CI and taken up by E-Serve for processing after images authorized by branch. The document is scrutinized as per checklist available to EServe. Necessary entries are passed by E-Serve in IBBS if document is negotiated by the branch. The full set of document is dispatched through DHL by the branch. The duplicate of the Export form is duly filled and submitted to BBK within 14 days of shipment. 3.3.2 Export proceeds realization and utilization Export proceeds are received through Citibank’s Nostro. The fund is immediately parked in a customer specific sundry account. Upon settlement of import bills, packing credit etc. the remaining balance is transferred to customers current and FCY RTN Quota account as per customer instruction. Monthly BBK reporting of the triplicate copy of the EXP form is done upon realization of proceeds. 3.3.3 Packaging Credit (Pre Shipment Finance) Packing Credit is the working capital finance towards the credit required for manufacture of export order in local currency other than the financing by the bank for import of raw and packing materials through issuance of back to back letter of credit. The credit is liquidated when the exporter ships and presents documents in order to avail post shipment credit or upon realization of export proceed against documents sent on collection.

3.4 Risk identification There are several types of risks that are analyzed before going for extending Citibank’s services to the vendors. These are: 

Credit Risks

    

Commercial Risks Operational Risks Country Risks Documentation Risks Funding Risks

All obligors under this program will have been assigned Obligor Risk Rating (ORR), derived from DRM (Debt Rating Model). Citigroup rates the program based on the average probability of default of the obligors (multiplied by the limits of obligors), under the program. The credit risk here is largely dependent on “performance risk” as the vendor may not have the ability to perform according to the requirements of the buyer. Whether the export order is placed via a PO or a LC, the ultimate risk is whether the buyer will approve the final product. Therefore, the buyer/vendor relationship is a critical element in analyzing performance risk. Even though such risk will exist, the mitigating factor here is the PRAC done, i.e. selection of vendor and approval of his buyer, checking the years of relationship of buyer with the exporter and positive reference on the buyer. 3.4.1 Commercial Risk Commercial risks occur when Vendors, Buyers and Banks have disputes over conditions and rules governed by the operative L/C document under UCP 500 and local requirements .These risks can be controlled through the proper selection of Vendors and L/C issuing banks, for which Citigroup has a set rules. 3.4.2 Operational Risk Buyers can refuse to pay identifying discrepancies that have been overlooked by Citibank. Operations will use a detailed checklist to facilitate the process and meet compliance requirements. Adequate resources in the Trade Processing Unit will ensure that Operations processing will continue to demonstrate high quality as a mitigant.

3.4.3 Country Risk This program will operate within the country cross border limits. Export Bills with discrepancies, Import LCs and FX pre-settlement will be earmarked against country cross border limits.

3.4.4 Documentation Risk Necessary documentation is to be taken per local standard bank forms. Individual RMs for respective VMP clients is responsible for obtaining all documentation prior to utilization. Country credit administration will check documentation prior to draw-down. Citigroup Bangladesh, offers VMP products to its 100% Export oriented RMG (Ready Made Garments) clients. The products offered under this program can be divided into the following categories: 3.4.5 Vendor Selection: Vendor selection is accomplished by the credit filters and facility provided commensurate to level of experience with the Bank. This includes Pre-screening and trade feedback. Owners commitment to the business is also a key ingredient in analyzing vendor risk, which can be judged through site visits and talking to people from the same trade. This would also give an idea of the reputation of the vendor amongst the suppliers and the market. 3.4.6 Banks Selection: In general Buyers delinquency is covered by L/C issuing banks (Rated 5- or better), for the Pre-Export finance once performance per term of the L/C is completed. Banks with ORR of 5 or better would qualify automatically. 3.4.7 Buyer Selection In case of a GRB buyer, Citigroup will insist satisfactory payment history. For others Citigroup is taking reference check. In any case, as per law of the land, taking buyer reference from an acceptable agency (Citigroup take from D&B or from other Citigroup branches having relationship with the buyer) is mandatory.

3.5 Account Maintenance Process & MIS ď Ž

VMP Sponsor/Manager will provide program management support and individual RM (Relationship Manager) looking after individual VMP clients will be responsible for obtaining proper documentation.

 

CPC Mumbai will handle all trade-related transactions, while DRUBR, Shipping Guarantees and Drafts/TTs will be handled by the Dhaka/or Chittagong Trade Dept. VMP Sponsor as well as individual RMs will be responsible for periodic monitoring of outstanding and also loan maturities. Revenue monitoring shall be handled by the Financial Control Unit. A&P shall be used for operating procedures and ops matters, while the GCIB rules shall govern credit related matters. Direct write off method will be used for loans DPD 180 days. No losses under the program to date. No losses are anticipated for 2004.

Policies and Procedures Documentation 

Documentation will be standard across all customers.

Funding Strategy 

Funding will be from the local US$ deposit base and shortfalls will be covered via borrowings from other regional Citigroup Treasuries (e.g. Bahrain). Funding will be managed by the Treasury Unit of the Branch. Export Development Fund (EDF) from Bangladesh Bank

3.6 Key Success Factors for Vendors For Vendors: The garment export trade starts with the buyer placing an order with the seller (vendor). Therefore it must be noted that if the vendor is unable to secure orders from buyers, he is out of business. In order for the vendor to be successful in securing orders continuously he must consistently make delivery in the right quality, at the right time and at the right price. To maintain these attributes and standards (Price, Quality and Delivery) the vendors will be required to consistently upgrade their production facilities, increase productivity and have a strong management team. Therefore in identifying a quality vendor one must look for the following: 1. Experienced: who has been in business for a considerably long time (>+5yrs for group), 2. Reputed: who has long-term buyer relationship, and has secured business consistently from reputed buyers,

3. Successful: buyers are willing to place continuous orders, 4. Good Management with Farsightedness: experienced and committed management focused towards consistent upgrading and improving production facilities, 5. Financial Strength of the Group: who may sustain in the cut-throat price war situation, 6. Buyer Diversification: who has diversified based on buyer as well as destination, 7. Adherence to International Labor Standards: with buyers becoming more and more demanding about the quality of life being given to garments workers, manufacturers have to ensure that they adhere to stringent labor laws, factory construction standards etc. Most of the large buyers have their own inspection team and standards certification process before they procure from sellers. 3.7 Credit Process The following tables show the different criteria that the vendors must fulfill to be eligible for Citibank’s services Table 3.1:Pre- Screening Criteria

Parameter 1. Apparel exports of the Group 2. Registration with BGMEA* 3. Bangladesh Bank’s Defaulters list 4. SDN check 5. Export of the Group to GRB & D&B 1-3 rated client (s) 6. GRB Client Reference and/or D&B Rating 7. Length of relationship with GRB client

Requirement Min USD 10MM Yes Clean Report Not on SDN list >=50% of group turnover Positive Min 2 years


Parameter 1. Years in Business (for Group) 2. Apparel Export Turnover of Group 3. Profitability1

>=5 yrs Min USD 10 MM Positive for last 3 yrs

4. Financial Ratios for company Interest Cover Leverage Current Ratio

>= 2 <= 1.5 >= 1.1 Positive

5. Trade Reference Check 6. Visit to site 7. Single buyers concentration

No adverse comment (waived for stand alone PSE facility) Maximum 40%

8. GRB & D&B checking covering minimum 40% of sales of the units to be financed by us 9. Minimum Yearly Revenue



Category A = USD 25 M Category B = USD 40 M Category C = USD 50 M (waived for stand alone PSE facility)

Leverage calculation excludes L/C / acceptance liabilities from the payable. However, including Acceptance, leverage cap is 2.50

In addition: While Citigroup does not seek any recourse from the buyer for its vendors financed under this program, Citigroup will use the following criteria judgmentally for selecting a buyer/ GRB buyer: 1. Satisfactory payment history as confirmed by exporter 2. No adverse comment on company from overseas PAM/CitiVision if a GRB buyer 3. Willingness of the buying office to support the program by providing details on their operations/ references on the vendors Table 3.3: PRODUCT RISK ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA (PRAC)

Facility Pre Screening Standard Documentation Personal guarantees from Directors / owners Max. tenor of Facility

Yes Yes Yes 360 days (360 day for OD only which amounts maximum of

Level of Facility

- Unit / Group Level (maximum of 40% of group VMP export or the limit mentioned, whichever is lower)

% of export to GRB Buyers and or to D&B rated 1-3 buyers

Limit within the total facility To negotiate discrepant docs (Only GRB buyers) Maximum Finance (% of Master L/C) Security

USD 100million 180 days while shipping guarantee tenor is 18 months CATEGORY A CATEGORY B CATEGORY C GroupTurnover>U SD 25MM

GroupTurnove> USD 15MM

GroupTurnover (TO)> USD10MM

Group Networth> USD 4MM

Group Networth> USD 3MM

Group Networth> USD 2MM

No. of years in business > 7

No. of years in business > 6



US$ 1.5MM




(US$ 800M)

(US$ 500M)

(US$ 300M)

No. of years in business > 5

90% (Usance/Sight B/B L/C-75% plus Packing Credit/Overdraft-15%) Hypothecation of stocks & receivables

* Max allowable limit for B/B L/C set by the central bank is 75% of the Master L/C. If that reduces, Citigroup will also have to reduce the maximum finance limit for B/B L/C. 4 Overview of RMG Industry Bangladesh is the twelfth largest garments manufacturing nation in the world. The garments sector is divided into the textile and the readymade garments (RMG) segments. The textile segment is sub-divided into a number of activities, which include: spinning, weaving, and fabric processing; and the RMG segment includes knitwear and woven items. Since the late 1970s, the RMG industry started developing in Bangladesh primarily as an export-oriented industry. RMG now accounts for 77% of the total merchandise exports of

Bangladesh and 94% of the RMG export is dependent on the quota-restrained markets. The direct contribution to GDP is relatively small about 5% (IMF working paper). The sector reflected an average annual growth rate of 22% (EPB, 2000), and between the years of 1990 and 1997 exports of apparel grew by 200% in terms of volume and 370% in terms of value. This is one of the highest achievements within the major garment exporting countries worldwide. (Syed Azim, UNDP). The knitwear sector has performed particularly well over time. The sector’s share in total RMG has grown from about 17% in 1995 to 40% in 2003 (IMF working paper). The knitwear sector has already exceeded woven garments export volume, 1099 million pieces vs. 1,085 pieces (Jabbar, Financial Express). The magic behind the success of the knitwear section is the low lead-time, the factor being competitiveness both in terms of price and quality. This has been due to the self-sufficiency in the fabric knitting, where around 80 percent of the yarns, used in knitwear factories, are produced locally. 4.1 Products The product range manufactured by the industry is relatively narrow, concentrating on basic garments such as ‘T’ shirts, polo shirts, pajamas, woven shirts, trousers, shorts, undergarments, anoraks, and parkas. Some production of higher value items have been introduced, however it is the low cost, low margin items that are the most prominent (Ibid). The RMG sector has not made much attempt to diversify into more complex products that are less sensitive to either quota or price. Product development does not seem to form a part of the Bangladesh firm’s structure, with design and fabric selection often being chosen by the buyers and customers. The composition of knitwear export is shown below. The main components of knit sector are T-shirts and sweater. The contribution of T-shirts was huge last year, with 49.45% share. Table 4.1: Composition of Knitwear Export (million US$)





T-Shirts Sweater Others Total

546.28 517.83 395.14 1495.25

642.62 578.38 432.83 1653.83

1065.72 618.41 471.2 2155.33

Source: BKMEA 4.2 Earnings

RMG has rapidly attained high importance in terms of foreign exchange earnings and employment. The export earnings of this sector have risen dramatically from about $7 million in 1981 to $5.7 billion in 2004 (Shahiduzzaman, Financial Express). The export of knitwear brought US$ 1.4 billion during the July-December period of 2004. (BKMEA). 4.3 The Trade Associations The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has approximately 3,992 members, approximately 2000 of these garment units are located in Dhaka. The Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have 792 full members, making a total of over 4,000 companies in the RMG sector (Syed Azim, UNDP). It is estimated that approximately 95% of the Ready Made Garment companies are entirely owned by Bangladeshi companies or families. Most of the foreign owned companies are located in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs). The RMG industry categorizes the companies based on the number of machines each possess. According to the BGMEA, firms with less than 200 are classified as small, between 200 and 400 are medium-sized and those above 400 are categorized as large industries. 4.4 Employment The RMG industry has created a huge number of employment opportunities for the people of Bangladesh. The total number of workforce employed in this sector is presently 2 million (BGMEA), which is almost half of the total industrial workforce of the country. Beside this, more than 15 million people work in related industries from button-makers to truckers to insurance underwriters (The Daily Star, 2004).

Table 4.2: Trend in Employment in the RMG industry in 1990s

4.5 Growth of RMG Exports When the MFA first came into place, foreign investors, who were restricted under the quota regime in their own country, set up factories in Bangladesh. This, and a guaranteed access to the largest market, attracted a lot of domestic entrepreneurs to set up export-oriented factories themselves. This sector saw astronomical growth in the late eighties. Even in the first five years of the nineties, the industry grew steadily at an average rate of 30% per year. The growth started to decline from FY 96 and came down to as low as 7.28% in FY 00 (Quasem, 2002). RMG export grew at 18% as compared to overall export growth rate of 16% during first 7 months of the last fiscal. EU exports were the drivers for growth while US exports declined. Export growth of knit garments was higher (26%) than that of woven garmentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (12%) during the same period. 31% of garment exports are to USA while over 50% to EU. Over 70% of US exports are under quota while the EU exports get indirect quota

Figure 4.1: Growth of RMG Exports from Bangladesh

protection (quota free only for LDCs). Canada and Australia have also granted quota/duty free access to Bangladesh but the share is currently only 4%.

Growth of Apparel Sector 4000

Am ount in Millions US$

3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 94-95










20032004 Woven Knitw ear

Figure 4.2: Growth of apparel sector Source: BKMEA 4.6 Reasons for growth Bangladesh has been able to reach its current position due to several factors. The government has provided fiscal and financial support such as duty drawback facilities, tax holidays, cash assistance, income tax rebate facilities, zero tariff on machinery input, rebate on freight and power rate, bonded warehouse facilities, provision of import under back-to-back L/C, credit at concession rate, export credit guarantee scheme, and retention of foreign exchange earned by the exporters, all of which facilitated the growth of this sector. (Anik, 2004) But the major factors behind this explosive growth have been both General System of Preferences (GSP) and Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA), which allowed Bangladesh to export to EU and the USA, respectively. These two market accounts for more than 94% of total garments exports from Bangladesh and the export volume to other markets is negligible.

General System of Preferences (GSP)

General System of Preferences (GSP), introduced in 1971, gave Bangladesh generous access to European Union (EU) and allows her to enjoy incentive schemes and duty benefits. Originally the GSP was dependent on yarn and fabric manufactured in Bangladesh for the production of readymade garments. Recently, this has been extended to cover textile and clothing products manufactured in Bangladesh using yarn or fabric that has been imported from the ASEAN, SAARC or other countries in the Lome` Convention. Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA) During the MFA period (1974-1994) international trade in textiles and clothing has been characterized by the establishment of bilaterally agreed and/or unilaterally imposed quantitative restrictions by developed countries on imports of textiles and clothing coming from developing countries. This provided the basis on which industrialized countries have been able to restrict imports from developing countries. The MFA has been imposed on Bangladesh in the 80â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s; extended five times and came eventually to an end in 1994 since these arrangements were restricting the volume of trade and were not in conformity with the existing GATT rules. For example, it imposed quantitative restrictions on imports and discriminated suppliers based on the country (Rahman, BMI). Thus in the GATT Uruguay Round it was agreed that MFA would be gradually phased out in four stages over a 10-year period, setting the stage for a quota-free world on 1 January 2005. (Anik, 2004) The first stage began in January 1995 and the WTO members were required to integrate not less than 16% of their 1990 imports of textile and clothing products. In the second stage, starting January 1998, not less than further 17% was to be integrated, and in stage three, from January 2002, a further 18%. Finally, on 1 January 2005, all remaining products (amounting to a maximum 49%) are to be automatically integrated. (IMF working Paper)

Integration Stages Percentage of integration

120 100 80 60



49 100

40 20 0

16 01/01/1995

33 01/01/1998




Figure 4.3: Stages of Integration of MFA into GATT Sources: Adapted from IMF (2002)

4.7 MFA and RMG sector The MFA was introduced as a short-term protection measure for the textile and clothing industries in developed countries against the low-priced apparel manufacturers from developing countries. According to the MFA, every year countries agree to the quantities of specified items which can be traded between them. After introduction of the MFA, Asia has become the world's foremost exporter. A lot of production had been initially done in Europe. However, with automation and the subcontracting process, direct production is contracted out to countries where wages are lower. Initially production was concentrated in the East Asian countries such as Hong Kong, but by the middle of the 1980s other Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, etc emerged as major exporters of garment manufactures. Hence, only 25-30% value is added to the value of woven exports in Bangladesh (North-South Institute, 2000), while almost 70% for knitwear (The Bangladesh Observer, 2004). Bangladesh benefited greatly from quota restrictions offered by the MFA as it gave Bangladesh generous access to European Union, Canada, and US markets. Within ten years, RMG had overtaken the country's leading exports of jute, tea, shrimp and leather. The sector earned $5.7 billion in 2004. (Shahiduzzaman, Financial Express). As an LDC, Bangladesh will continue to enjoy GSP concessions from EU but is expected to lose out the US market after the MFA phase out starting January 1, 2005. Bangladesh needs to prepare itself to respond flexibly to opportunities and threats in the post MFA era. Trela and Whalley (1988) estimated that if all developed countries' restrictions on textiles and clothing were removed, exports of these products from Bangladesh could increase by 70%.

The welfare effects for Bangladesh of removing the MFA quotas were estimated at US$0.223 billion. However it can be mentioned that even if Bangladesh fails to expand, it should try to maintain its present share of 2.6 % of this expanding market (Smith, 1998). The overall adverse effect can be substantial because a large part of the manufacturing is dependent on RMG. MFA withdrawal is expected to cause several small and medium units to close down. Many of the workers might lose their jobs, and those who will still have them might be offered lower wages with fewer working facilities than now. The net fall in receipts from woven RMG exports is the major current concern regarding Bangladesh’s exports. Thus, considering the impact of full phase-out of the MFA for Bangladesh, there is urgency to comprehensively review the textile and RMG related issues to undertake focused measures. 4.8 Current Constraints for the RMG Sector A number of stated concerns specific to the garments sector have been identified and some are broadly classified as follows: •

Phasing out of quota (MFA)

Disruption at the sea port located in Chittagong

The potential inclusion of China into the WTO

The lack of a mature textile industry that could supply more domestic product to the RMG sector

A lack of design and product development

Long lead times

Low efficiencies, quality problems, low use of computer based information technology, CAD, and CAM.

Over dependence on imported raw materials

Lack of development of backward linkage industries

Inadequate infrastructure and supported services

Lack of knowledge of manufacturers/exporters of RMG

Corruption is pervasive and costly

High levels of non-performing loans reduce the capacity of banks to lend at reasonable rates, especially to small and medium sized enterprises.

4.9 Possible threats and opportunities

After 2004, the MFA has been completely integrated with WTO, under which agreement, the developed countries (USA and Canada) would not be able to impose further restrictions on the apparels from developing nations. This is expected to bring about competitiveness among the various exporting countries, leading, in turn, to quality products and lower price for consumers. However, problems in the prevailing system and structure of the Bangladesh RMG sector combined with quota withdrawal is expected to pose some threats to exporting companies of the country. Some of these threats, based on previous research are discussed below. While, Bangladesh exports to 31 countries (Absar, 2001) in total, the US is currently the largest market for RMG exports for Bangladesh, if the EU states are counted separately, and the second largest with the EU states combined. The US buyers mainly buy from 40 markets, of which CR5 is 61% while CR10 is 85%. This is a relatively high concentration ratio. However, with the MFA withdrawal, competition is likely to intensify. This is likely to push the other small suppliers out of the ring, while the top five or ten suppliers dominate the market (Bhaumik, 2004). US imports from Bangladesh has started to decrease due to quota phase out. However, in the longer term it may increase depending on certain compliance issues, such as workers access to trade union, working environment of the factories, law & order situation etc. According to the US Department of Commerce, major buyers are likely to reduce the number of countries they source from by half during 2005-06, and another third by 2010 (Shefali, 2003). Moreover, US buyers are likely to concentrate on countries that are politically or financially stable (Selim, 2004). These factors put Bangladesh in a precarious position, since it is the 6th largest garments exporter to the US (Absar, 2001) and traditionally instable. However, according to a study done by Citigroup, global sourcing may be narrowed down to a smaller number of countries, perhaps 10 to 15 and Bangladesh should remain the ‘supplier of choice’ in many categories and rank among the top 5 exporting countries. With China’s accession into WTO, it has been given the country access to one of the largest market in the world. According to the US International Trade Commission (USITC) report 2004, it is expected to be the supplier of choice for most apparel companies and retailers. However, the textile specific safeguard provisions contained in China’s WTO accession protocol (Selim, 2004), may prevent from China creating a monopoly in the US market. Moreover, importers will continue to maintain relationships with other suppliers to minimize risks of sourcing from only China (Ibid).

The American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) had previously cautioned that the country would lose a market share of $1.05 billion by 2006. However US retailers, such as

Wal-Mart, one of their largest retailers, say that they are likely to expand sourcing from the South Asia region as an alternate source of supply (Ahsan, 2004). With quota withdrawal and a resulting oversupplied market, it is expected that prices would go down significantly and bring about deterioration in the terms of trades of developing countries. Already, buyers are offering just US $12-13 as CM charges to Bangladeshi exporters compared against $30-45 in 2002. There has been a gradual reduction of workers in factories and downward pressure on the wage levels as producers try to reduce the cost of production (Shefali, 2003). With even a 10% reduction in employment level, the number of unemployed is likely to be as high as 180,000 (The Independent, 2004). However, some exporters see the quota withdrawal as a blessing. Exporters who until now had been denied access to the US market because of the quota restriction, claim that they are now procuring orders from buyers for export after 2004 (Ibid). Reputation for quality service and on-time delivery, existing business networks (supply chain linkages, good relationships with US customers), flexibility and variety in products, and leadflexibility are important factors too. These factors will make or break post-MFA RMG firms. Availability of cheap skilled labor, compensation rates, and the availability of qualified managers and middle management will provide important competitive advantage (Selim, 2004). On the positive side, garment exporters have gradually moved up-market in recent years and are increasingly exporting sophisticated items like high quality suits, jackets and brand items. Exporters have also been able to penetrate Japanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extremely quality conscious market. As a result, merchandise exports, led by the garments industry grew at an average annual rate of 17% in US dollars, between 1990/91 and 1997/98 (Secretariat, 2000). The first three months of the post-MFA has shown positive scenario whereby it has been stated that Bangladesh's garment sector is sailing comfortably in the post-MFA era as its export orders surged by up to 47 per cent in February 2005. (The Financial Express, 2005) The orders received by local knit manufacturers are on the rise even outside of the peak period - July-October. 4.10 Knitwear: post-MFA Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) is surpassing the government set export target in the current fiscal year, is confident that there will be no pressure as the post-MFA era has ended. Within the next five years, Bangladeshi knitwear exporters are expecting to export T-shirts even to China, the giant of the Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s textile industry. (The Independent, 2005) Even though the woven garments exports were lower by 21.34 % in January 2005, raising fear that the RMG was starting to be hit by the quota removal, the knitwear exports had remained stable. However, the fear was overcome by the export figures of February that

showed a surge of 38% increase in woven garments, while the export of knitwear rose 47%, with February alone marking 82 percent boost. (T&G â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Supply: The orders for knitwear are on the rise even outside the peak period of July-October, according to the President of BKMEA, Mr. Fazlul Haque. (The Financial Express, 2005) In the US market, even though the orders on the woven garments have been falling because of huge increases in Chinese exports, the orders on denim have increased in recent months. On the other hand when compared to the rise in garments exports of foreign competitors this value does not seem significant. It has been outpaced by Asian competitors like China, Cambodia, India and Qatar. The exports of T-shirts to the US market, which constitute 60% of the total knitwear exports in Bangladesh, from China in the month of January (immediately after the lifting of quota) rose by 158 %, Cambodia by 206%, Qatar by 331% and India by 122%. (New Age, 2005). BKMEA executives have agreed that they are being beaten due to price wars. Bangladesh is lagging behind in price competition, especially in the larger orders. However, they still keep substantial hope because US market comparatively new as most of the knitwear were being exported the EU market until recently; .so it might take some more days for the real picture to evolve. But there are still areas where the knitwear industries should focus on to keep up with the global competition. Like the huge cheap labor pool on which the industry more or less depend upon, should be upgraded in terms of skill and knowledge. This is required for the raising the quality of products. Then there are the social and environmental standards that are to be maintained to ensure substantial number of foreign buyers. Currently, out of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 600 knit factories, only 50 to 60 have social compliance while none of the factories meets environmental compliances. (New Age, 2005) In the year 2005, the compliance issue has become important as international buyers are beginning to put pressure to meet social compliance criteria including workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wage, health and workplaces. Mr. M.A. Baset, an executive member of BKMEA said that by this year 50% export oriented knit factories would be able to meet the social compliance. He also hopes that knitwear will be fetching $3 billion in exports in 2004-2005 fiscal. Measures are being taken as well, like The GTS, a German agency for technical cooperation has partnered with the private sector to help the knitwear sector meet the social and environmental compliances and stay competitive. According to Japan External Trade Organization representative in Dhaka, Mr. Sotaro Nishikawa, Bangladesh has overcome the initial speculated shock of the withdrawal of quota facilities and at present it has the potential of adding value up to 75% by satisfying the rules of origin. There are certain other constraints like knitwear manufacturers who are being compelled to buy local yarns, for the support of local textile industries, in prices much higher than international competitors. Bangladeshi manufacturers pay $ 0.7 per kg of yarn more

compared to Indian manufacturers. This causes the cost of production of local knitwear manufacturers to increase by 20%. (The Bangladesh Observer, 2004) According to Mr. Fazlul Huq, the President of BKMEA, buyers may switch to other competitors’ products even with an edge of 1 %. This effect has been enhanced by the ‘undervalued currency’ strategy of China and India to capture the international market of knitwear. China has been able to reduce the price of its knitwear by 70%, capturing 28% of the market. Even then BKMEA thinks that China is not a competitor of Bangladesh because it is not involved in low-priced knitwear; India seems to be much bigger competitor in that aspect. However, there are chances that the Chinese exports to the US and EU will be restricted due to the surge that has taken place during this year. Both the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) and the European Commission (EC) have called for considering possible action to safeguard the local manufacturers of textiles. Therefore, even though Bangladesh is doing substantially well in the knitwear sector and the trend is showing acceleration in exports, it is not void of vulnerability to external factors. To keep up the trend, the knitwear manufacturers need to improve in terms of the quality of products, marketing of its products and price competitiveness. Therefore the potential of knitwear depends on both the industry of Bangladesh itself and the external environment fluctuations. 5

Analysis of Knitwear Industry in Post-MFA

5.1 What are the factors influencing the growth of Knitwear industries? Before investigating the level of growth that will occur in the knitwear sector, it is essential to find out the factors that is causing and will determine the growth of the sector in the post MFA period. The following SWOT analysis given below gives one an idea of the position of the Knitwear sector and how this might fare in the coming years. •


Cheap Labor – Labor cost is only 5% of production cost in developing nations whereas in industrialized nations it is 75% ( This enables the knitwear manufacturers to supply Quality Products at Lower Price. (BKMEA)

Duty drawback scheme – “The RMG sector benefits from a duty drawback scheme for raw materials whereby import duties paid on these materials are reimbursed to the importer upon execution of an export order” (Mlachila and Yang, 2004).

Reduced income tax rates – “The government during the FY04 budget reduced the corporate income tax rate for RMG industries from 30 to 10 percent for the period up to June 30, 2006. At the same time, income tax rates for textile manufacturers were reduced from 30 and 35 percent to 20 percent for the period up to June 30, 2006.” (Ibid)

Cash incentives – “The government operates a Cash Compensation Scheme (CCS) through which domestic suppliers to export-oriented RMG units receive a cash payment equivalent to 10 percent of the value added of exported garments. In the past three years cash payments have averaged about Tk 6 billion. (Ibid)

Backward Linkage – More than 75 percent of the raw materials needed for knitwear industries are provided by the local suppliers. (BKMEA)

GSP facilities in EU Market – Bangladesh, through satisfying the Rules of Origin, gets preferential access to the EU market. This has created a huge market for the country. The growth is seen in these markets specifically.

Less Lead time – The fact that the raw materials can be acquired from local suppliers gives knitwear a less lead time and therefore the time space between receiving the order and supplying the products to the buyers is comparatively less. (BKMEA)

Industrialization – The rapid industrialization of the RMG sector has added to the strengths. Even if in the woven sector, owners have easily gained the know-how related to knitwear manufacturing.

Weaknesses 1. Low productivity of labor (Mlachila and Yang, 2004) 2. Outdated equipment (Ibid) 3. High interest rates - “High levels of nonperforming loans reduce the capacity of banks to lend at reasonable interest rates, especially to small and medium-sized enterprises”. (Ibid). China subsidizes its industries, where the firms have a negligible lending rate offered to them of around 1 percent. In India it is around 34 percent. (BKMEA) Whereas in Bangladesh this is almost 13-14 percent. Moreover, Bangladesh Bank is planning to further increase the rate.

4. Inadequate electricity supply – “About 70 percent of companies rely on back-up generators that supply electricity at a cost typically 50 percent higher than the price of power from the public grid”. (Ibid) 5. Inefficient port facilities – “the port of Chittagong, is very slow in handling containers due to lack of cranes.” (Ibid) 6. Corruption – “It often manifests itself in excessive regulation, leading to extortion and bribery. Companies rank it as a severe obstacle to business”. (Ibid) 7. Policy induced weakness a. Restrictions on FDI in the sector – “foreign investors bring superior technology and managerial skills” (Ibid) and due to restricted RDI, RMG has not been able to grow more competitive. b. a requirement to have back-to-back letters of credit (LCs) before imports can be approved c. “a requirement to reserve 40 percent of export cargo for domestic vessels” most of which are inefficient.” (Ibid) 8. Lack of market diversification – 94% of our exports are dependent on the quota restrained markets of EU. (Ibid) 9. Failure to meet Compliance Standards – Currently, out of the countries total knit factories only 50 to 60 have social compliance while none of them meets environmental compliances. (New Age, 2005) In the year 2005, the compliance issue has become important as international buyers are beginning to put pressure to meet social compliance criteria including workers’ wage, health and workplaces. The recent fire and building collapse accidents have caught the attention of the buyers and may become a major issue if not dealt with properly 10. Local yarns are highly priced - Bangladeshi manufacturers pay $ 0.7 per kg of yarn more compared to Indian manufacturers. This causes the cost of production of local knitwear manufacturers to increase by 20%. (The Bangladesh Observer, 2004) According to Mr. Fazlul Huq, the President of BKMEA, buyers may switch to other competitors’ products even with an edge of 1 %.


1. Abolition of quotas will create a more level playing ground - Quota allocation in Bangladesh is administered under the Textile Trade & Quota Administration Rules (1991). About 95% of the quotas are allocated to existing firms on the basis of past performance. This system is inefficient and favors large and wellestablished firms at the expense of newer, potentially more innovative firms. Although quotas are supposed to be free, sometimes the large companies “sell” their quotas to the SMEs at a very high price. This increases the SMEs cost of production. Abolition of quotas will help all firms in competing in a level playing ground. 2. Sub-contracts from China - Although China is more efficient in the manufacture of RMG products, there is a probability that China will not be able to handle all the orders it will get. It might give sub-contracts to other countries and Bangladesh, having a long experience in this sector, is very likely to get majority of the sub-contracts from China. Moreover, the export oriented firms of China is not being able meet the local demands of its people. So, Bangladesh exporters are expecting to export T-shirts even to China within the next five years. (The Independent, 2005) 3. Use of the textile specific safeguards provisions contained in China's WTO accession protocol (Daily Star, Selim, 2004). U.S. importers would want to minimize risks of sourcing from China alone. Moreover, the recent restrictions being put on China by the US and EU due to the huge surge in imports from China, will cause the buyers of US and EU to minimize the risks by diversifying the import source. Both the American Manufacturing Trade Association (AMTAC) and European Commission (EC) have called for considering possible action to safeguard the local manufacturers of textiles. 4. The overall apparel trade will increase - The reduction in price of apparels will increase the demand for RMG. As a result, the global market will expand and Bangladesh can take advantage of expanded market. 5. Preferential Market Access – “Canada has also announced that from January 2003, all imports into Canada from Bangladesh including RMG shall be duty free”. EU has also given duty free concessions under “Everything But Arms’ (EBA) scheme to Bangladesh. (Quasem,2004) Moreover, recently Mexico has announced duty free access of all Bangladeshi RMG products.

6. U.S. Retailers - US buyers are considering Bangladesh one of the major source as JC Penny, Wall Mart, GAP, K -Mart and other big buyers are coming to Bangladesh and setting up offices. (NewAge, 2004). In the quota free regime exports in US market may increase. This is because during the post-MFA period, a restriction was put on the volume of exports to US market. Lifting of those restrictions would enable knitwear firms in Bangladesh to export as much their capacity allows them to. Bangladeshi knitwear firms, though has always focused on the European markets due to GSP facilities, should explore the US market, which provides a substantial customer base. (BKMEA) •

Threats 1. Constriction of market access – “The US Department of Commerce in its report to the Congressional Caucus, reveals that major buyers will reduce the number of countries they source from by half of it during 2005-6 and by another third by 2010” (Shefali, 2003) 2. Capture of Market by China and India – “Jennifer Hillman, vice chairman of the US International Trade Commission, said a recent study done by the trade panel showed world textile production making a very large shift into China when the quotas end”. (The Independent, 2004) India is also becoming a major supplier due to more efficient production facilities. For example, even if Bangladesh has its own yarn factories, the cotton to produce those yarns has to be imported from India. On the other hand, India is self sufficient in producing all raw materials ranging from cotton to dying agents. This gives India a cost advantage over Bangladesh. (BKMEA) 3. Bilateral agreements for political reasons – The U.S. might choose other countries over Bangladesh for political reasons. (Selim, 2004) 4. Non-tariff barriers – Bangladesh might not be able to meet “non-tariff hurdles such as labor standards, social accountability and environmental clearance requirements”. (Selim, 2004) 5. Preferential Trade Access - US Trade Development Act 2000 enacted in the USA on May 19, 2000 provides preferential access to countries in Africa and

Caribbean Basin. This will lead to trade diversion form Bangladesh. (Quasem, 2004) 5.2

What is the Effect on Knitwear industry?

The table below shows that the knitwear exports are rising in composition of Bangladesh RMG exports, with its share rising from just over 15% in 1990 to over 29 percent 2000. The rate of increase of knitwear exports has accelerated during the last 2 years. The market penetration in EU has been drastic. Since 2000-2001 the growth has been 101.19 percent. This is due to the 74.63 percent growth in the FY 2003-2004 itself. On the other hand there is declining trend in US market. In the FY 2003-2004, the market experienced a negative growth of 32.47 percent over the last FY.

Table 5.1 Changing commodity composition of Bangladesh RMG export

Figure 5.1: Trend of knitwear export growth in major markets As the previous figure shows the steep rise in the knitwear export during the last two years has been due to the European market. The knitwear exports have always been concentrated in the EU market due to the GSP facilities through the fact that they meet the Rules of Origin Criteria. The exports have surged in the current fiscal year and are expected to continue in this manner, as stated by the BKMEA experts and owners. When the export data of knitwear for the past three years was analyzed the following trend was obtained for the next three fiscal years from 2005-2006 to 2007-2008.

Export Value in Million US$

Trend: Yearwise Export of Knitwear 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 02-'03







Figure 5.2 Trend analysis of Year-wise Export of Knitwear

BKMEA has stated that the export value of the current fiscal (2004-2005) would surpass US$ 3000. Using this value and the values from previous years, it shows that by the end of the year 2007-2008, the export value could reach over US$ 5000. As the export volume is seasonal, therefore a month-wise prediction could not be done. However, a month-wise trend analysis for the number of firms coming up shows that by the end of this fiscal year, the total number of knitwear firms is likely to be 925 and is likely to Surpass the 1000 mark by the end of 2006.

Knitwear Export Comparison Export Value in Million US$

250 200 150 100

Trend Analysis: Knitwear Firms

Number of Knitwear firms


50 0







800 600 400 200 0 Dec











first three months of the

post MFA period has shown a drastic increase in the export volume. As the table below shows, the overall increase has been over 38 percent compared to the previous period.

January February March Total

% 2004 2005 Change 192.92 221.74 14.94 108.32 196.06 81.00 166.99 231.41 38.58 468.23 649.21 38.65

Table 5.3: Measures to keep the

Table 5.2: Comparison: Month-wise Knitwear Export

competitiveness of knitwear industries

5.3 the Growth of the Knitwear Industry?

(Response from experts)


What Measures are going to keep up

Figure 5.4: Comparison: Month-wise Knitwear Export

Measures Cash Incentives Ensuring competitively priced yarn Marketing Improvements Loans Checking price of dyes Penetrate US market

Frequency (out of 5) 3

Percentage 60%



4 2 2 4

80% 40% 40% 80%

As the table shows, importance was given most to Marketing improvements and Penetrating US Market. These alternatives were suggested by 80 percent of the experts surveyed. Therefore, experts think that these are the best alternatives to keep up the competitiveness of the knitwear sector in future. 5.3.1 Marketing Improvements: These are necessary for attaining efficiency; although this importance is not felt as yet, the intense competition that Bangladesh will have to face in the Post-MFA era will most probably force the garments to take up these steps. This is indicated by the following secondary findings: The most important point to remember is that Bangladesh should try to diversify its product base and develop new and higher value-added products. It is these products, which attract little or no non-price restrictions and hence hold better promise for penetrating into the developed country markets. (Rahman, 1995) This low importance given to the marketing improvements is seen to be a major weakness for the future of RMG sector. The modus operandi of the RMG sector has not changed significantly since 1978, so that it continues to be mostly dependent on buyers and buyersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; agents giving orders to

garment manufacturers for their stitching capacities â&#x20AC;Ś.. Most RMG companies have no marketing activities and no pro-active selling. Consequently, companies have little alternative but to accept the prices offered to them. The number of companies, worldwide, offering stitching capacities in other LDCs is increasing, so that more companies are competing in the same bottom market segment as most Bangladesh producers (StuartSmith & Shefali, 2003). 5.3.2 Penetrating the US Market: A trend has been created in the Bangladeshi RMG industry that the woven sector focuses on the US market and the knitwear sector focuses on the EU market. This has been created due to the MFA facilities provided in the US market for the past so many years. On the other hand, the knitwear has focused on the EU market due to the duty free access through compliance of the rules of origin. However, as trade restrictions are being lifted, the number of RMG suppliers has drastically increased with, specifically with countries like China and India coming in. Therefore, the market that Bangladesh knitwear focused on has to be expanded and because US provides a huge consumer base, that should be focused on. Recently exports of knitwear to US market have fallen, as shown in the trend diagram previously. BKMEA is, however, trying to take up measures to initiate marketing programs in order to face the global competition. The following excerpt posted on a website by SEDF is an example of the steps that are being started with the help of Development Agencies and Consultancy & Marketing firms to take up the work.

Market Development Program to the USA for Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI) The SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) is a multi-donor funded initiative that supports the establishment and growth of private small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and North East India. SEDF is managed by the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. The SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) in collaboration with Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) propose to undertake a Market Development Program to New York City and its environs in order to establish market and secure business for a range of Bangladesh knitwear products. The specific objectives of the program are to: • identify and select an appropriate number of Bangladesh products, manufacturers/exporters with export potential to North America • carry out in depth market investigations in the target market, including the test marketing of selected Bangladeshi products; • establish current trading practices and procedures and identify non-tariff barriers affecting trade in selected items; • establish commercial contacts with prospective importers, agents, wholesalers and retail stores in the target market; • secure trial and initial orders through a Sales Mission of industry representatives to the target market; • prepare a strategic marketing report and develop a comprehensive follow-up programme for the development of Bangladesh knitwear exports to North America For this assignment, consulting firms should have the following experience: • Proven knowledge of the US apparel market, specifically NYC and its environs. Thorough understanding of the requirements of the marketplace for knitwear products. • Experience in undertaking similar market development programs with manufacturers from developing countries to the US. • Expertise in market research, particularly in the apparel industry. • Experience in leading sales mission of manufacturers to target markets. • Experience with apparel sector in a developing countries. • Knowledge of production processes of knitwear products. • The consulting team should have a minimum of 5 years experience. SEDF now invites eligible firms or consultants to indicate their interest in providing their services. Interested firms must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (brochures, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc). Consultants may associate to enhance their qualifications. (…continued next page)

(…continued from previous page) From Expressions of Interest must be delivered (preferably by email) to the below address by May 15, 2005. It should be labeled “EOI Market Development Program Knitwear”.

Wendy Jo Werner Specialist , Business Enabling Environment SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility United House, 10 Gulshan Avenue Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh Telephone: +880 2 9861711-20 Ext. 134

Fax: +880 2 9894744 E-mail:

(Source: 5.3.3 Ensuring Competitively Priced Yarn: ‘Higher purchasing price of local yarn coupled with stalled cash incentives from the government for the last two and a half years, the knitwear manufacturers are likely to face stiff competition in the quota free world.’ – Md. Fazlul Huq, President, BKMEA This measure has been stated by 60 percent of the experts. In the present situation, local knitwear manufacturers need to buy one kilogram of yarn at 2.8 dollars while Indian exporters in 2.1 dollars. Bangladeshi manufacturers pay 0.7 dollar more for per kg yarn compared to Indian manufacturers. It increases the production cost of local knitwear manufacturers by 20 per cent. (BKMEA) According to Mr. Huq, buyers may switch to other competitor's products even with an edge of one per cent. Therefore, it has become essential to keep the price of yarns low. It becomes difficult for local yarn sellers to keep the prices low because the cotton has to be imported from countries like India. Moreover, the land port through Benapole has been more or less closed by the government to restrict border smuggling. This would have otherwise enabled the garment and knitwear manufacturers will be able buy yarn at international prices. Cash Incentives 60 percent of the experts surveyed stated at least 15 percent cash incentives for the next three years to be an appropriate measure for the future prospect of knitwear. Cash incentives from the Government have been stalled for the past 3 years and according to Mr. Huq releasing the stalled cash incentive is essential to stay competitive in the international market. The High Court had already accepted the writ of knitwear and terry towel manufacturers regarding delay in releasing the government's cash incentive to the sector. (The Bangladesh Observer,

2004) According to BKMEA, there should be at least 15 percent cash incentive for knitwear exporters for 3 years. BKMEA believes that a possible setback might occur in this growing sector because of stiff competition from India. India has offered nearly 13 percent export incentive in the name of duty drawback or other facilities. It has also raised a US$30 billion Technological Upgrade Fund (TUP) to assist its businessmen investing in the textiles sector in the five years to come. (BKMEA) Bangladesh has becomes 24 percent less competitive than India and in addition to that India there is the fact that it India produces cotton and manufactures dyes, chemicals and machinery which Bangladesh does not. Bangladeshi exporters, on the other hand, have to pay 11 percent more than their competitors for importing these items. The proposal set out by BKMEA is as follows: â&#x20AC;˘

15 per cent cash incentive on export earnings for using local yarn


10 per cent incentive for the exporters who use imported yarn and


5 per cent cash incentive on export earnings for those who use imported fabrics in their production.

Checking Price of Dyes & Loans: 40 percent of the experts surveyed stated these factors as alternatives for the future prospects. At present, the prices of dyes-chemicals have shot up to 300-400 percent of the original in the local market. This has caused increase in the cost of production. So whatever savings the knitwear does in terms of cost of labor, is partially offset by the price hike of the raw materials. India on the other hand have their efficient dying and finishing facilities, which though started much after the development of Bangladeshi factories, have drastically improved, keeping the post MFA period in mind. According to Mr. Md. Abdus Samad Azad, Senior Executive, BKMEA, Bangladesh has failed to take the appropriate steps and the opportunities. The experts have also suggested soft loans for knitting and dying industries for the establishment of a more efficient backward linkage. The interest rate should be kept lower and the increase in lending rates is going adversely affect any such attempts unless special consideration is given to the sector.


What are the Opportunities and Threats for Knitwear firms in the Post MFA era?

The opportunities and threats for a knitwear firm were obtained from pre-testing questionnaire for owners and experts. The experts were then asked to scale these opportunities and threats, in terms of their impact on firms in the post-MFA period. The following results were obtained according to the cumulative score for each opportunity/threat. Table 5.4: Scores of opportunities vs. threats (experts)

Opportunities China will concentrate on higher value items


Increase in exports to US market


New GSP schemes more favorable Restrictions on Chinese exports Total Score

14 16 60

Threats Score China & India may capture 15 market Currency undervaluation by China and lower interest 14 rates in other countries Non tariff barriers 9


Total score


The score shows that the cumulative opportunities have exceeded the cumulative threats by a score of 22. On an average, each expert scored the opportunities {(60/4) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; (38/3)} 2.33 higher than the threats. The experts surveyed believe that after MFA period there will be greater chances of opportunities (like outsourcing and increased demand) overtaking the threats (like Chinese dominance and non tariff barriers). That is in the end post-MFA will be more of an opportunity than threat. When the owners were asked to state their opportunities and threats that they will face in post-MFA era, the following list was obtained. Table 5.5: Opportunities & Threats (Owners)

Opportunities China will focus on higher valued items New GSP schemes will be favourable Industrialization will help to gain buyers Overall apparel trade will increase

Threats Deficiency in advanced technology Port congestions High interest rates Political instability Non-tariff barriers

China will focus on higher valued items: As the above two tables show that both the owners and experts thought that China focusing on the higher value items would be an opportunity for Bangladeshi knitwear to export in a less competitive market. In doing so India becomes the greatest threat. China does not produce categories of knitwear that are produced in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is even hoping to export T-shirts to China. The recent deal that has been signed to export to Singapore market has been stated to be the first step to catch up with China by Md Fazlul Huq, President of BKMEA. (The Independent, 2005) Moreover, even though it dominates the world apparel market, it imports apparel products to meet its local demand. China also wants to relocate some its industries in the LDC countries and Bangladesh remains a high contender for the purpose of this investment. New GSP Schemes will be Favorable: The next common opportunity stated by both is the possibility of the new GSP schemes that are to be implemented from the middle of this year. Under the new scheme garment exports from Bangladesh to the EU will not only continue to enjoy duty free status but also become free from complying certain minimum local value addition requirement. It refers to a zero value addition requirement at the lower end at the national level. A collective SAARC regional cumulation of value will replace the existing value addition criterion at individual national level to facilitate regional group to make better use of the new GSP scheme. (BSS, 2005) The new scheme has been expected to multiply Bangladeshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apparels exports to the EU market at a time when China will be losing preferential entry facilities. India is also near the threshold of risking losing the 3.5 per cent duty rebate once its growth in market share exceeds 12.5 per cent level. Increase in the export to US markets: This has been explained earlier in the measures section. If the measures are taken properly, US may become a huge market for Bangladesh knitwear. Restrictions on Chinese Exports: this has also been explained previously. EU and United States have already taken measures to restrict imports from China to save the local industries. Therefore, countries like Bangladesh may benefit from it as the buyers would want to diversify the supplier base to avoid risks of only Chinese imports. The threats have been discussed earlier and needs no elaboration here. Even thought these have not created drastic problems as yet; however, if proper measures are not taken to counter these, it may become a hindrance to compete in global market.


Which Linked Industries are going to be affected the most?

From primary research it has been found that the three most correlative industries with the knitwear sector are: Type of linked industry Spinning Dyeing Accessories •






3.75 3.7 3

75 74 60

Table 5.6: Types of linked industries

Score 1 to 5 showing the degree of effect 1 – hardly affect; 2 – slightly affect; 3 – somewhat affected; 4 – very affected; 5 – extremely affected

From the above table it can be seen that the industries affected most are the spinning and dyeing industries. They have a mean of over 3.5, meaning their chances of being affected are high. So if the knitwear can continue the present trend in growth, then these industries are likely to flourish as well. Moreover, as the value addition in the knitwear sector is 70 percent, the backward linkage industries are going to get a major boost, and as the experts have quoted, ‘Industrialization is happening and will continue to happen’. 6 Recommendation Based on the findings and its interpretation, the following recommendations can help the knitwear industry and its constituent firms remain competitive in the global market. •

Increase Efficiency - Cost minimization will have to be the primary objective of most firms in the post-MFA. Cost reduction should be achieved through increasing

productivity, and enhancing technical efficiency. For this, the government should provide facilities to train workers at very low cost. •

Infrastructure Development – This is a must for RMG industry to be competitive in world market. The government has to prioritize, activate and initiate new ports, roads, gas connections, power outages, telecom costs.

Market Diversification – Bangladesh should identify other potential market segments to capture market share. It should try to promote trade relationship with other countries and try to outsource for those countries to reduce dependency on US and EU markets. o Pro-active Strategies – Companies should implement new business strategies in order to become more competitive in the export markets, be pro-active in selling products rather than stitching capacities and thereby, be in control. o Build relationship - The companies need to improve their level of contacts as well as marketing skills. It is very important to enhance the forward linkage of RMG, since this will bring firms closer to the markets and help them to develop relationships with retail buyers so that they can become ‘preferred suppliers’. The government should provide firms with a market database to raise their market awareness and knowledge o Compliance Standards – The recent tragedies in the RMG industries have claimed many workers’ lives. These would become a decisive factor for buyers to choose suppliers with the stringent global compliance policies. Firms should take into account the safety and regulatory standards in order to face the global arena. Any action taken against failure to comply with the standards could be drastic for Bangladesh RMG industry. o Strategic Partnerships: Bangladesh could gain immensely from the technology transfer with any country like Taiwan as it becomes a global leader in high-quality synthetic or man-made fabrics through the use of state-of-the-

art technology and research. More value addition could be possible through forging strategic partnerships with this type of country. (Jabbar, 2004) 7 Conclusion With the first five months of the post-MFA period gone, the RMG sector has not drastically deteriorated, as most previous studies had predicted. Even though the initial shock of the post-MFA competition has had only a little impact on the woven sector, knitwear sector has shown unexpected growth rate. If the trend continues, it is going to be the major export earner of the country. With the backward linkage that the woven sector does not have, knitwear is becoming a more competitive sector. With positive responses from the experts and the owners alike, the knitwear sector is likely to have more opportunities in the future, which they are likely to use to overcome the threats. However, if proper measures are not taken, it may face difficulties, like competition from India. Even a few years back India lagged behind Bangladesh in terms of the production facilities. Now, with the support from the government, the manufacturers over there are able to produce at a lower cost, compared to Bangladesh. Therefore, the knitwear sector should get adequate support measures from the government, as well make a coordinated effort to be able to fight in the global arena. As it is not upto the required standard in terms of efficiency and technological equipment, proper measures should be taken to build up the infrastructure to be able to be as competitive as possible. The knitwear holds a bright prospect, but only if measures are being taken properly will it continue to contribute the way it has in the last 6 months of the current fiscal year. Limitations While the research has been quite extensive and thorough, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t without a few limitations. These are given below: 5.1 Sampling limitations o For the information collected from sampling to be reliable, it should be tested for repeatability and internal consistency. While the information was checked for

internal consistency by asking various question to get the same answer (e.g. the opportunities for knitwear in owner questionnaire), this could not be tested for repeatability because the experts and owners do not have the time to spare for extra questioning, let alone asking the same questions over again. o Most of the owners are indifferent to the Pre-MFA and Post-MFA scenario. They have not been able to clearly make out the reasons for growth Thus, to get responses from them and thus reduce non-responses error, they had to be probed. This may result in interviewer bias, thus giving us inaccurate pictures. 5.2 Information limitations o While the growth of knitwear sector in the Post-MFA has been gaining attention of experts and business people alike, there has been no extensive study done as yet, whether qualitative or quantitative. Therefore, the information provided by the experts is mostly based on their opinion of what they have experienced rather than backed up by research. Reference Anik, Asif Reza. Does quota-free world mean destruction for RMG sector? The Daily Star. Volume 5. Number 39. July 05, 2004. Anonymous. The Textile and Garment Sector of Bangladesh. Anonymous. The Textile Industry of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau. Bangladesh Export Statistics 2004 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2005. Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha. National News agency of Bangladesh. Incentives and Facilities for the Investors. Potential Sectors for investment. Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha. BGMEA, ILO sign agreement to improve RMG sector. May 2004. Bhattacharya, Dr. Debapriya, and Rahman, Prof. Mustafizur . Bangladesh Experience with Trade and Investment Liberalisation: A perspective on Poverty Alleviating Implication. Country Paper Prepared for CUTS Study. 2000. Bhaumik, T.K. WTO: Another Crisis in the Offing? May 2004.

Elbehri, Aziz. MFA Quota Removal and Global Textile and Cotton Trade: Estimating Quota Trade Restrictiveness and Quantifying Post-MFA Trade Patterns. Preliminary Draft. Economic Research Service. May 2004. Hale, Angela. International Subcontracting: The new face of the garment industry. March 2000. Hale, Angela and Hurley, Jennifer. Briefing Paper: What does the phase out of the MFA quota system mean for garment workers? Women Working Worldwide. Hyvärinen, Antero. Implications of the Introduction of the Agreement of Textiles and Clothing (ATC) on the Developing Countries producing/Exporting Textiles and Clothing. ATC Paper. October 2000. International Chamber of Commerce. An Investment Guide to Bangladesh: Opportunities and Conditions. Internet Edition. August 2000. Khan, Farida Chowdhury . A Decade of Trade Liberalization : How has domestic Industry Fared in Bangladesh. University of Wisconsin- Park side. Khan, Shabbir Ahmed. Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Knowledge-based Economy : Challenges and strategies. Report of the APO Symposium on Entrepreneurship in knowledge based industry. Country Paper. Bangladesh. Taipei, Republic of China, 23-26 July 2002. Kibria, Asjadul. Bangladesh losing ground in US apparel market – China grabs 65pc share of quota-free items in 28 months. News from Bangladesh. June 26, 2004. Mlachila, M., and Yang, Y. The End of Textile Quotas: A Case Study of the Impact on Bangladesh. IMF Working Paper (Policy Development and Review Department). June 2004. Muhammad, Anu and et al. Manufacturing in Bangladesh: Growth, Stagnation and Erosion. Quasem, A.S.M. Adding Value: Building Value – Addition Alliances. Executive Forum on National Export Strategies. The North-South Institute. Value Chains in the Global Garment Industry after the MFA. April 2000. CPD, State of the Bangladesh Economy: Early Signals of FY2005, January 15, 2005 Rahman, Mir Mostafizur. Garments & Textile sector of Bangladesh: the MFA Missile. Beximco Management Institute.

Reimer, Jeffrey J. Global Production Sharing and Trade in the Services of Factors. University of Wisconsin. 2003. Selim, Shahpar. What can Bangladesh expect from US-buyers in the post-MFA world? The Daily Star. Volume 5. Number 26. June 22, 2004. Shefali, Mashuda Khatun. Impact of International Trade Regime on Female Garment Workers in Bangladesh. Australia. October 2002. Jashim Uddin Khan, RMG leads remarkable export growth in Q1, November 9, 2004 M Abdul Jabbar, Post-MFA challenges to Bangladesh RMG sector, 13 December 2004 The Independent. RMG states unite to face post-MFA challenge – Textile quotas unlikely to be extended: WTO. April 2004. The Independent. Knitwear exporters want 15 per cent cash incentive. http:// May 2005. Financial Express, Apparel Buyers increasingly looking for competitive prices. April 19, 2005 Bangladesh Sangbat Sangstha, BKMEA ready to face post-MFA situation, December 24, 2004 The Bangladesh Observer, Knitwear Manufacturers compelled to buy local yarn at higher prices, June 25, 2004 The Daily Star, Knitwear Producers Seek Duty-free Access to China, May 17, 2005. BSS, Duty-free RMG export to EU from July, No local value addition required, February 6, 2005,

Questionnaire for Experts

Code: I, a student of IBA, am preparing an internship report on ‘Post MFA Prospects of Knitwear Export from Bangladesh: A Preliminary analysis into the Potential of VMP by Citigroup’. I would like to thank you for your time and co-operation. Any data collected is strictly confidential. The findings can 1. How many knitwear firms are there in the industry? _____________________ 2. How many are local oriented and export oriented? Local ________ Export________ 3. How many knitwear firms have come up within the first 3 months of 2005? ____________________ 4. How many weaving firms have come up within the first three months of 2005?

____________________ 5. What are the main factors that influenced the growth of the knitwear industry? i. _________________________________________________________ ii. _________________________________________________________ iii. _________________________________________________________ iv. _________________________________________________________ 6. What measures will help to sustain the knitwear industry in the post MFA period? i. _________________________________________________________ ii. _________________________________________________________ iii. _________________________________________________________ iv. _________________________________________________________ 7. How many knitwear firms are likely to come up in the post MFA? ___________________ 8. What is the number of knitwear firms in each category (local and export) that will expand their existing facilities? ______________________________ 9. What is the number of knitwear firms that are likely to close down? ______________________________ 10. What is the total value and volume of export by knitwear during the last 5 years? Volume_____________________________________________________________ Value_______________________________________________________________ 11. What are the opportunities for the knitwear industries in the days to come? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 12. What are the threats that the knitwear industry is likely to face in the post MFA period? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 13. What are the possible measures available that will help the knitwear industry to prosper in the future? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 14. What are the linked industries that are likely to be affected by the trend in knitwear industries?

________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 15. What are the financial services that might be required by these knitwear and linked industries? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Name: Designation: Address: Phone: Thank You for the Co-operation

ď &#x160; Questionnaire for Owners Code 1. Is your firm export oriented? Yes No 2. How many years have you been in RMG business? ________________ 3. Which sector of RMG does you firm deal with? a- Knitwear b- Weaving c- Both 4. If your firm deals only with weaving, do you have any plans to go for knitwear? [Please skip Question 5 if this does not apply to you] Yes No Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Know 5. What are the reasons for the above? Please rank each reason according to importance. (1- Very important; 2-Important; 3-Fairly Important, 4- More or less important; 5Least important) Reason 1: ___________________






Reason 2: ___________________






Reason 3: ___________________











Reason 4: ___________________

Reason 5: ___________________ 1





6. If your firm deals with knitting, do you have any plans for further expansion of the facility? Yes No Don’t Know 7. What are the reasons for the above? Please rank each reason according to importance (1- Very important; 2-Important; 3-Fairly Important, 4- More or less important; 5Least important) Reason 1: Backward linkage industries Reason 2: GSP facilities in EU market Reason 3: Less lead time Reason 4: Quality product at lower cost Reason 5: Industrialization


























8. What has been the export quantity for your firm during the following months? In 2004: January _________ February _________ March___________ In 2005: January _________ February _________ March___________ 9. Which countries do you export to now? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 10. Do you have any plans to go into new foreign markets? [Please skip question 11 & 12 if your answer is ‘No’] □ Yes □ No □ Don’t Know 11. Which countries do you think of expanding? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

12. What are the reasons for your going for these countries? Please rank each according to importance. (1- Very important; 2-Important; 3-Fairly Important, 4- More or less important; 5- Least important) Reason 1: __________________ 1 5 4 2 3 Reason 2: __________________ Reason 3: __________________











Reason 4: __________________ 1










Reason 5: __________________ 13. What of the following threats are you likely to face in the post MFA period? Please rank each according to importance. (1- Very important; 2-Important; 3-Fairly Important, 4- More or less important; 5- Least important) •

China and India may capture market

High interest rates

Dependence on import of raw materials
















14. What are the measures that would help you expand your volume and value of export? Please rank each according to importance. (1- Very important; 2-Important; 3-Fairly Important, 4- More or less important; 5- Least important) •

At least 15% cash incentive for 3 years

Ensuring yarn at competitive price











Soft loans for establishing backward 1 linkage





Improvement of marketing strategy











Possible measures to penetrate US market Name: Company: Designation: Address: Phone:

Thank You for the Co-operation

This would be used by the corporate banking division of citibank n a to review their vendor marketin