Australian retailers are keen to explore Bangladesh as a sourcing destination, aiming to reduce their dependence on China to make a sustainable supply, media reported.
Media reported citing Australia-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Ibnul Wara that a delegation of the Country Road Group – one of Australia’s largest specialty fashion retailers – is currently visiting Bangladesh to find new suppliers for apparel and footwear items.
Speaking to the media, he said that they have been in business with the Country Road Group for the last few years but now they want to increase the market share.
The Australia-Bangladesh Chamber is trying to bring more leading Australian companies to explore this market, he added.
He also said that Bangladesh has an opportunity for market and product diversification.
Stressing the importance of the visit, Wara said the Country Road Group owns five runarounds Australia brands with more than a billion-dollar turnover.
Rachid Maliki, general manager of Global Supply Chain and Sourcing of Country Road Group told Bangladeshi media that they have visited Bangladesh several times, but now they have a new responsibility to diversify their supply chain.
He has already visited several export-oriented garments, textile and formal wear manufacturing plants and said that Bangladeshi manufacturers have invested in their capacity development and diversified their product range.
The Country Road Group highly depends on China, which contributes above 90% of the group’s total sourcing value.
Due to geopolitical issues, the Group now wants to diversify its sourcing destinations to make a smooth supply chain.
According to data from the Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh exported $916.24 million worth of goods to Australia in the last fiscal 2021-22, of which 88.6% were apparel items.
On the other hand, Bangladesh’s imports from Australia were about $1.24 billion in the same fiscal year, according to the Bangladesh Bank.
Bangladesh’s major import items were vegetables, oil seeds, iron, steel, cotton, and mineral fuels.