The World Cup football fever now grips the globe, from which Bangladesh does not lag behind. No matter it is not a participating team in the fiesta, but involvement is there.
Bangladesh-made apparels worth Tk 4,000 crore have been exported to the countries participating in the Brazil fiesta. These apparels include jerseys, shorts, tracksuits and caps.
According to BGMEA--the trade body for garment makers and exporters, the country's 180 garment factories have made these items passing busy times for months for the players of 16 participating teams, including Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Iran, France, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Chili and Germany. Besides, the countries who are not taking part in the world's greatest show have imported these Bangladesh apparels for commercial purposes after gaining FIFA licenses.
Strict security measures were taken to manufacture these garments because the importing countries demanded that quality of their own brands and secrecy be maintained.
With Brazil's becoming the host of 2014 World Cup, Bangladesh is offered orders for souvenirs, jerseys and tracksuits. But many orders were returned back for want of time.
Apart from foreign trade, such apparel makers are also doing brisk business locally, as football fans now throng the shops selling jerseys of their favourite players. Also, they do not forget to hoist flags of their favorite countries. And compared to earlier World Cup tournaments businessmen expect good sales this year.
From footpath to big shopping malls, jerseys and flags are there to appease football frenzies. Traders say there has been two hundred crore taka worth of jersey business in Bangladesh alone. After China Bangladesh is the world's second largest exporter of RMG. Around 80 per cent of the country's exports are from this sector. More than four million (40 lakh) people are engaged in this trade.
Bangladesh Knitwear manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA)'s First Vice President Mohammad Hatem said, "Because of export of World Cup jerseys current year's RMG sector export growth will be 14 per cent.
"Nearly 100 of our factories have made jerseys for World Cup fans. We cannot rightly say how much of business relating to the World Cup is going to be. But it may hover between half a billion and one billion dollars." he said.
Hatem said, "Bangladesh's RMG exports in the current fiscal year ending this month will be worth a record US$ 25 billion, which is three billion dollars more compared to the last fiscal year." A large part of it is from World Cup trade, he added.
Hatem said, "Apparels of world famous brands like Puma and Addidas are manufactured in the factories of Bangladesh. Besides, jerseys for the fans of almost all countries participating in the World Cup have been manufactured in Bangladesh. And this has been possible because of low-cost products of this country."