By V. Sankara
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysian and Bangladeshi companies have been urged to look into the possibility of embracing new partnerships in jointly developing and revitalising the garment industry which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) joint secretary-general Goonahalam Subramaniam said the governments of both Malaysia and Bangladesh could find ways to facilitate a plan to jointly establish a garment manufacturing hub in Malaysia as part of efforts to revitalise the garment industry.
“The hub should be established in a state which has well-connected logistics services and the project, in turn, could enhance the economic development of the chosen state,” he told Bernama.
Goonahalam said his chamber is willing to work with trade agencies such as the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) in finding a suitable location for the labour-intensive sector project, given the number of employment opportunities it can provide and the industry being a key engine for growth and employment.
“The garment hub in Malaysia should be equipped with shared research and development (R&D) capabilities, common waste treatment and design centre, among others,” he said.
He also said that Malaysia has become a global trendsetter in the field of textiles and apparel wear, adding that Malaysian designers have been creating clothing worn by celebrities, members of royalty and even heads of states.
On the other hand, he said the vast availability of low-cost manpower and a proven track record in textile production and exports have positioned Bangladesh as a regional garment industry development hub in ASIAN.
“Looking into these capabilities, a textile manufacturing hub in Malaysia could be realised through possible business tie-ups of both countries in a move to build a stronger and more comprehensive ecosystem that focuses on talent, skills and innovation,” he said.
Goonahalam cited the statistics of Bangladesh’s Export Promotion Bureau saying that in the last seven years, more than 5,000 garment factories were built in the republic, adding that Bangladesh is today one of the world’s largest garment exporters, with the ready-made garment (RMG) sector accounting for more than 80 per cent of its exports.
Bangladesh is targeting an 8.0 per cent share of the global apparel market to achieve a projected US$50 billion (US$1=RM4.23) RMG exports by 2021.