Bangladesh vs China: Which Country Leads in Garment Industry?

Bangladesh Vs China Garments Industry

Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion about who the real leader in the garment industry on Earth is. And for many years, the clear answer had been China because who else could compete with them? But now the answer isn’t as clear due to one nation: Bangladesh. 

In the last few decades, Bangladesh has steadily made itself quite the competitor to China in apparel manufacturing. So today, in this Bangladesh vs China apparel manufacturer leader article, we will help you figure out what really is going on. 

Bangladesh vs China: Current Conditions

Over the past few decades, Bangladesh and China have developed a strong and cooperative relationship marked by mutual trust and respect. However, in the realm of garment exports, this friendship has turned into a competitive race. Both countries are major players in the global apparel market, with China leading and Bangladesh not far behind. The competition is intense, particularly in key markets such as the USA, the UK, and the European Union.

China has long been the dominant force in garment exports. Before the trade war with the USA, China was the unquestioned leader. However, the trade war and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic hit China’s exports hard, creating opportunities for other countries. Bangladesh, eager to seize this chance, has made significant strides. Recently, Bangladesh achieved a milestone by surpassing China in garment exports to the European Union for the first time.

Bangladesh Vs China

In the first eleven months of the last year, the European Union imported $9,517 million worth of ready-made garments from non-EU countries. China exported $2,798 million worth of clothing to the EU, with a growth rate of 19.29% compared to the previous year. In contrast, Bangladesh exported $2,118 million worth of garments to the EU, marking an impressive 38% growth rate. This remarkable growth has positioned Bangladesh as the top exporter in terms of growth rate in the EU market.

Bangladesh’s success isn’t limited to the European Union. Despite global economic challenges, the country has also seen significant increases in apparel exports to the United States and the United Kingdom. In the USA, Bangladesh’s garment exports grew by nearly 25%. Similarly, Bangladesh exported a record amount of clothing to the UK last year, maintaining its position as the second-largest apparel exporter in these markets, right behind China.

Several factors contribute to Bangladesh’s growing competitiveness. The cost of garment production in China is rising, making Bangladesh a more attractive option for cost-conscious buyers. Additionally, political instability in countries like Myanmar and Ethiopia has led to increased orders from the US being redirected to Bangladesh. The nation is also home to 51 of the world’s top 100 garment factories, showcasing its significant investment in high-quality production facilities.

Bangladesh’s apparel exports are expected to continue their upward trajectory, especially to the EU, UK, Canada, and USA. The country’s entrepreneurs are confident in capturing a larger market share, driven by increasing global demand and competitive production costs. Moreover, Bangladesh has already secured the top spot in the world for exporting denim and T-shirts. It is making notable progress in other apparel categories.

However, challenges remain. Rising gas and electricity prices in Bangladesh, potential future wage increases, and dependency on raw materials from China pose significant hurdles. Additionally, Bangladesh may lose preferential market access or GSP benefits after 2029 when it graduates from the list of least developed countries (LDCs). Addressing these challenges will be crucial for Bangladesh to sustain its growth and continue competing with China.

The fierce and dynamic competition between Bangladesh and China in the garment industry. While China remains the largest apparel exporter globally, Bangladesh is rapidly closing the gap. With strategic investments, continued growth in key markets, and proactive measures to address potential challenges, Bangladesh could secure the top position in the future. The race is on, and the world is watching as these two garment giants vie for dominance in the global market. To gain more insight into the evolving landscape of apparel production, you can refer to The Future of Apparel: Towards Compliant Fashion Factories

Factors That Boost Apparel and Clothing Exports in Bangladesh

The clothing and apparel export industry thrives in many countries because of several key factors. These factors help nations become big players in the global market. Let’s look at what drives this success.

Apparel And Clothing Exports In Bangladesh

Low Wage Costs

One major reason is the low cost of labor. Producing clothes is cheaper in some countries because workers earn lower wages. This helps companies sell their products at competitive prices.

Availability of Raw Materials

Access to raw materials like cotton and wool is another important factor. Many countries have plenty of these resources, which keeps production costs low and ensures a steady supply for making clothes. For more details on this topic, check out The Main Raw Materials for Making Clothes.

Government Support

Governments often support the garment industry by offering subsidies and tax breaks. These incentives make it easier and more profitable for companies to produce and export clothing.

Strong Infrastructure

Good infrastructure, such as well-maintained roads and ports, is crucial. It allows for smooth transportation of materials to factories and finished products to markets, reducing delays and costs.

Skilled Workforce

The skills of the workers are essential too. In many countries, workers are very skilled in making garments. They produce high-quality clothing, which attracts buyers looking for well-made products.

How Can Bangladesh Overtake China in the EU in Apparel Trade?

For Bangladesh to overtake China in the European Union (EU) apparel trade, several strategies need to be focused on. Let’s explore these key areas.

How Can Bangladesh Overtake China

Focus on Quality and Compliance

Bangladesh must ensure that its apparel exports are of high quality and meet international standards. Bangladesh can build trust and loyalty among European buyers by consistently providing top-notch products. Meeting these standards is crucial for maintaining a good reputation and securing repeat business, as highlighted in the post Quality Control in Apparel Manufacturing

Efficient Supply Chain Management

Improving supply chain processes is essential. Bangladesh can ensure timely deliveries and quickly respond to buyer demands by streamlining operations. Investing in better infrastructure and technology can help optimize efficiency and keep Bangladesh competitive in the market.

Invest in Sustainable Practices

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers. By adopting eco-friendly manufacturing processes, Bangladesh can attract buyers who care about the environment. This helps the planet and gives Bangladesh a competitive edge in the market.

Market Diversification

Bangladesh should look beyond its traditional markets in the EU. Exploring new markets and expanding its customer base can reduce dependency on a single region. This diversification helps mitigate risks related to market fluctuations and opens up new growth opportunities.

Developing Design Capabilities

Innovation and creativity are crucial for standing out in the EU market. By investing in design capabilities, Bangladesh can create unique and appealing products that cater to the diverse tastes of European consumers. Blending creativity with cultural influences can help attract a broader audience.

Read More- Bangladesh Vs Vietnam Garment Industry Competitiveness


Bangladesh vs China is quite the hot debate in the clothing manufacturing circles and for good reasons. Over the decades, Bangladesh has increased its capacity and quality of manufacturing clothing for various top-tier brands. With certain events like COVID-19 acting as speed bumps for Chinese clothing exporters Bangladesh has been able to shorten the gap between the first and second list. With more ingenuity and dedication, Bangladesh could become the leader in worldwide garment industry competition this century.