The US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun is all set to visit Bangladesh after winding up his India trip (12-14 October) where the Deputy Secretary of State is scheduled to deliberate on how the two countries can work together to advance peace, prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific region and around the globe while also focussing on advancing the ‘United States-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’. As per media reports, during his Dhaka visit, Bangladesh is planning to take up the issue of duty-free market access of ‘Made in Bangladesh’ apparel products to the USA for a period of 3 years. Keeping in consideration the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and try to ensure a speedy recovery of the readymade garment sector – severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak – Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will make a request to this end to the US Deputy Secretary of State, claimed reports. AK Abdul Momen is also likely to propose the US to invest in infrastructure development in Bangladesh under its Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), during his discussions with Stephen E. Biegun. The Bangladesh Foreign Minister reportedly said that his country has no objection regarding USA’s IPS, but USA must come forth in infrastructure development in Bangladesh to make IPS effective.

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August has been a great month for the Bangladeshi RMG industry, as far as the US market is concerned. The total RMG export of the country grew by 15.70 per cent in August ’20 on Y-o-Y basis and this growth is supported by product categories like denim apparels which saw 36.45 per cent yearly surge in the US market.

The total denim apparel import of USA valued US $ 301.38 million in August ’20, marking 13.16 per cent downfall on Y-o-Y basis and 2.72 per cent fall on M-o-M basis. Bangladesh’s contribution to this value was 26.30 per cent.

Bangladesh exported US $ 79.28 million worth of denim apparels to USA in August ’20 as compared US $ 58.10 million in August ’19. If July ’20 figures are taken into account, Bangladesh’s growth was 23.63 per cent in August ’20.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that Bangladesh is increasing the gap between its denim apparel shipment value (being on top in tally) to USA and the value clocked by the second top exporter – Mexico.

The gap was just US $ 22 million in the export values of Bangladesh and Mexico in July ’20, which increased to US $ 31.92 million in August ’20, indicating that US buyers are rapidly moving to the South Asian country particularly for denim products during post-COVID times.

The performance of China and Vietnam remained dismal in their denim apparel exports to USA in August ’20 as both tumbled on M-o-M basis over July ’20 by 26.29 per cent and 23.78 per cent, respectively.

Vietnam was still up by 9.15 per cent on Y-o-Y basis to US $ 37.47 million worth of denim apparel shipment to USA in August’ 20 but China fell on Y-o-Y as well by 35.16 per cent. The significant fall of the competitors of Bangladesh in denim category signals a block-free road for the country’s export at least for some months now.