Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Bangladesh

Manufacturing contributes 18% to Bangladesh’s GDP (2011). Textiles and pharmaceuticals are some of the key export-oriented industries. In 2006, Bangladesh was the sixth-largest exporter of apparel behind China and India. This success has been attributed partly to the government’s policy of heavily taxing imported yarns, so as to encourage the growth of the untaxed local industry.

Manufacturing in Bangladesh comprises of mostly small, privately-owned enterprises or large, state-owned industries. The country’s main manufacturing products are jute goods, ready-made garments, processed foods and chemical production. The majority of the jute goods are exported to the United States and Europe which accounts for over US$190 million per year, and over 90% of the world’s jute fibre exports (2011).

The ready-made garment industry is Bangladesh’s largest manufacturing enterprise, with small- to medium-sized enterprises employing approximately 1.5 million local workers – a workforce made up of mainly women (2011). Bangladesh offers relatively cheap labour making the country an attractive prospect for overseas investors from the garment industry. However, after a long period of concessions with the United States and the European Union, where pre-agreed quotas were in place, the opening up of a free market has left Bangladesh to face tough competition from other countries in the region and further afield, such as China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.

After the Rena Plaza collapse in April 2013 which resulted in the deaths of nearly 400 people, some international garment companies have been reluctant to invest in factory premises in Bangladesh. Walt Disney has stated that it is ceasing garment production in countries that might not have the requisite building safety standards, citing Bangladesh as an example.  It is also a signal that the tragedy caused a wider assessment of building suitability within the entire garment industry.

Bangladesh is also a prolific producer of processed food, mainly for the domestic sector. Milling, sugar refining and fish processing are all major contributors to Bangladesh’s total domestic food production.

Industry and Manufacturing organisations in Bangladesh
Ministry of Industries