Technology will be the key enabler that will help increase productivity in Bangladesh's labour intensive readymade garment sector, analysts said.
All the factories in Bangladesh have been made compliant in the recent past, Shahriar Alam, state minister for foreign affairs, said at a seminar organised by PwC Bangladesh.
“The global market is expanding and Bangladesh needs to diversify its products and markets and lead the garment sector,” said Alam, who is also a lawmaker.
Moinuddin Ahmed, acting president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association; Md Atiqul Islam, immediate past president of the association and director of Islam Garments Ltd, and Syed A Tanveer, director of Pacific Jeans Ltd, were also present.
The sector would need to innovate to remain competitive, as Africa and Myanmar enter the garment sector, industry leaders said at the event.
Access to finance and financial tools will also be the key to driving the sector's growth, they said at the seminar on “Taking Bangladesh apparel sector forward”.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau, garment exports of Bangladesh comprise 5.05 percent of global exports in 2016 and the sector stands strong as the biggest earner of foreign currency for the country.
“The sector must focus on how business process re-engineering and resource optimisation can create increased efficiencies,” said Mamun Rashid, managing partner of PwC Bangladesh.
“As newer risks evolve, the garment sector will have to look at ways to ensure the safety and long-term sustainability of the industry.”