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>RMG export mark strong recovery

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>BANGLADESH’s garment exports grew strongly on the back of hefty exports to major markets in Europe and the United States, signalling a recovery by the vital industry, AFP reports today quoting officials.
Exports grew by 58 percent in January to 957 million dollars from the same month a year earlier, latest available official figures showed.
“It’s a huge comeback for our garments industry. After some bad times, we have now shown our capability and there are signs that growth will remain robust,” the head of the government’s export promotion bureau Shahab Ullah said.
Bangladesh’s garment exports were in negative territory during the first five months of the fiscal year starting in July as a result of continued fallout from labour unrest and political turmoil.
But they began picking up in December.
Labour unrest has begun to decline with promises by companies to improve working conditions and low wages and there has been relative political stability since the installation of a military-backed government in early 2007.
The garment trade is the backbone of Bangladesh’s manufacturing industry, accounting for 80 percent of overall exports and 40 percent of the country’s industrial jobs.
Exporters said the January growth showed that desperately poor Bangladesh can compete as a top garment exporting nation.

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