Given its current reputation as the second largest manufacturer and exporter of clothing in the world, one wonders why Bangladesh has yet to make its presence felt in the global technical textiles (TT) market. Considering the recent increase in demand for medical textiles, which is a category of TT, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of this subsector of the clothing market has now become too obvious to be discussed. ignored. So, Bangladesh cannot afford to miss it, as the global TT market value in 2020 was US $ 179 billion and has grown at a rate of 4.2% to US $ 224.4 billion. by 2025. Bangladesh’s potential to be a major player in this particular market area featured prominently in a study by the German agency for technical cooperation, GTZ. Highlighting the opportunities, he also highlighted the bottlenecks to be overcome and the challenges to be overcome if Bangladesh is to take full advantage of the growing TT market. Clearly, to enter the market, Bangladesh will need to build its capacity by filling the skills gap in the sector, ensuring an adequate supply of capital for start-ups and carrying out the necessary market research. At the same time, it must meet the compliance and certification requirements specific to this sector. Last but not least, obtaining a reliable source of the high performance non-cotton raw materials needed to manufacture TT products is an important prerequisite. As such, Bangladesh will need to act quickly to catch up with its Southeast Asian neighbors like Thailand and Vietnam which have meanwhile claimed their position in the global TT market.

It should be noted at this point that the Asia-Pacific region dominates the global TT market with its share, in 2019, of 45.90%, with China being the biggest player with its 24% share of the export market. . Even though the Bangladesh garment sector lacks the necessary TT expertise, its potential to claim a substantial share of the international market is enormous. This is eminently clear from the fact that the existing infrastructure of the apparel industry can also serve through some adjustments and improvements to function as a springboard for the production of TT products.

Clearly, the pandemic, as a blessing in disguise, has created a huge opportunity for the manufacture and export of medical textiles. These include, for example, PPE, gloves, masks, etc. Gradually, in addition to the manufacture of personal care, health care and hygiene products, the manufacturing base can be expanded to also include other specialized products for agriculture, home care, home care, packaging, construction, protective equipment, automotive industry, aerospace, to name a few. . In fact, the TT product line is indeed vast and so is the size of the market. Naturally, to be up to the challenge, the existing garment industry will need to readjust its priorities and create a new ecosystem of collaboration and cooperation with all other related sectors of the economy.

At this point, industry leaders should start working immediately so that the existing clothing industry can soon catch up with other South and Southeast Asian players vying for their territory in the global textiles market. techniques. The government, for its part, must play its part and provide the necessary financial and political support to facilitate the process. It is believed that, given the support, Bangladesh’s garment industry would soon be able to carve out a niche in the global technical textiles (TT) market.

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