Shahadat

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The garment industry has played a pioneering role in the development of industrial sector of Bangladesh. Though it took a rather late start i.e., in 1976 but it soon established its reputation in the world market within a short span of time. Resultantly garment is now one of the main export items of the country. Besides, enriching the country's economy it has played a very important role in alleviating unemployment. At present there are more than two thousand one hundred garment factories in the country employing more than 12 lack labors. 85 percent of the labor force is women.

With 5,000 factories employing about 3.6 million workers (of a total workforce of 74 million), Bangladesh is clearly ahead of other Southeast Asian suppliers in terms of capacity of the ready-made-garment industry. It also offers satisfactory levels of quality, especially in value and entry-level midmarket products.

Ready-made garments manufactured in Bangladesh are divided mainly into two broad categories: woven and knit products. Shirts, T-shirts and trousers are the main woven products and undergarments, socks, stockings, T-shirts, sweaters and other casual and soft garments are the main knit products. Woven garment products still dominate the garment export earnings of the country. The share of knit garment products has been increasing since the early 1990s; such products currently account for more than 40 per cent of the country’s total RMG export earnings (BGMEA website). Although various types of garments are manufactured in the country, only a few categories, such as shirts, T-shirts, trousers, jackets and sweaters, constitute the major production-share (BGMEA website; and Nath, 2001). Economies of scale for large-scale production and export-quota holdings in the corresponding categories are the principal reasons for such a narrow product concentration.

With about $15 billion in exports in 2010, ready-made garments are the country's most important industrial sector;...
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