Bangladesh exported fan jerseys worth $1 billion for all 32 nations participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in what can be viewed as an exciting opening for the country's garment exporters.
“This time, the work orders from Bangladesh were higher than the previous edition of the World Cup,” said Mohammed Hatem, managing director of Narayanganj-based MB Knit Fashion.
Hatem sent 25,000 pieces of Spain's fan jerseys for $2.5 each through air shipment on Monday. But their retail price would be $12 to $15 each.
Nearly 100 garment factories were involved in manufacturing fan jerseys for the World Cup that kicks off on June 14 in Russia, according to Hatem, also the former vice-president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
“So far, nearly $1 billion worth of jerseys have been exported from Bangladesh only for the viewers in the galleries and supporters.”
In the first 11 months of the fiscal year, the export of knitwear grew more than the woven garment because of higher shipment of jerseys, Hatem said.
In July-May period, knitwear exports rose 11.48 percent to $13.94 billion and woven garments 8.15 percent to $14.18 billion, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.
Bakhtiar Uddin Ahmed, general manager at Fakir Apparels, another Narayanganj-based garment maker, said his company sent 50,000 pieces of jerseys to a German buyer earlier this year. He sold each jersey for €2.50-3.
The fan jerseys he supplied were for Germany, Argentina and Brazil.
Apart from World Cup, Fakir Apparels exports jerseys all the year round for different football clubs in Europe like Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The jerseys cannot be sold in the local markets as the fabrics are imported under bonded warehouse facility, Ahmed added.
A Chittagong-based factory also sent 30,000 pieces of jackets for players and supporters of Argentina, Mexico, Spain and Germany, said an official of the company requesting anonymity.
The players and coaching staff of the four countries will use the jackets during practice, the official added.