Asia is on its knees. China, the behemoth, has fallen and the domino effect has put many of its neighboring countries off course. As exports ween across Asia, Bangladesh has bucked the trend. The country just recorded its highest monthly exports in history.
A Bloomberg report accounts for $3.2 billion in exports for Bangladesh in Dec. 2015, a record-breaking figure. The World Bank predicts growth of upward of 6.7% in 2016, which places the country in the group of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
More than 83% of the $3.2 billion came from clothing, a figure of $2.67 billion. Bangladesh is number two in the world for exporting clothing, only behind faltering China. Most of the textiles go to the EU and the US. Imports from the United States went up 16% year on year to November 2015, with the success of H&M playing a large part in that.
One thing holding the country back is the ethical dilemma of operating in a country that pays very low wages and where many of the factories are in unsafe condition. Workers rights are limited and reports of mistreatment are widespread.
Also, there is a bottleneck to offering only cheap exports and the government needs to attempt to progress up the value chain to consumer electronics and higher priced goods to develop. There are also challengers on the horizon. Vietnam is emerging as another contender but that might ride on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal going ahead.