Hindrances of exporting furniture from Bangladesh is huge! Exporting furniture from Bangladesh to foreign countries comes with its own set of challenges and hindrances, akin to those faced by the country’s formidable Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector.
A great meeting was conducted (through zoom) with Engr Md Rubel Rana who is the prominent figure in furniture sector of Bangladesh regarding the hindrances of exporting furniture from bangladesh. He shared some valuable points on this propective sector’s challenges. These points are surely important and to be addressed properly and immeditaely to remove those barriers. Let’s see his views:
High Transportation Costs:
Shipping furniture can be costly due to its bulk and weight, impacting the overall pricing and competitiveness of Bangladeshi furniture in the international market.
Maintaining consistent quality standards is crucial for international markets. Ensuring that every piece of furniture meets these standards can be challenging, especially for smaller manufacturers.
Different regions have varying tastes and preferences when it comes to furniture design. Adapting designs to suit international markets while maintaining a local touch can be complex.
Access to Sustainable Materials:
Sustainable materials are increasingly important in global markets. Ensuring a consistent supply of eco-friendly materials can be a challenge for some furniture manufacturers.
Competing with established furniture industries in other countries can be difficult. It’s crucial to find a niche or unique selling point that sets Bangladeshi furniture apart.
Market Access and Regulations:
Navigating foreign markets’ rules, regulations, and standards can be complex and may require significant time and resources.
Building effective distribution channels in foreign countries is often easier said than done. Finding reliable partners and establishing a market presence can be a lengthy process.
Global economic conditions and currency exchange rates can affect pricing and profitability, making it necessary to hedge against such volatility.
Customs and Tariffs:
Customs duties and tariffs can significantly impact the pricing and competitiveness of Bangladeshi furniture in foreign markets. Understanding and minimizing these costs is vital.
Inclusion of Bonded Warehouse Facility
The inclusion of bonded warehouses can be a strategic solution to mitigate some of the hindrances faced by the Bangladeshi furniture industry when exporting to foreign countries. Bonded warehouses offer a secure and cost-effective storage option for furniture manufacturers.
By storing their products in bonded warehouses, manufacturers can delay the payment of customs duties and taxes until the goods are sold, reducing the financial burden associated with export. This not only aids in managing costs but also streamlines the export process, allowing for quicker responses to market demands and variations in international regulations.
Additionally, bonded warehouses facilitate improved quality control, as goods can be inspected and refined before being sent to the final destination. Inclusion of bonded warehouses can, therefore, be a valuable asset in enhancing the competitiveness of Bangladeshi furniture in the global market.
Logistics and Lead Times:
Efficient logistics and shorter lead times are often expected by international customers. Meeting these expectations can be challenging in a developing economy.
Building a brand presence in international markets takes time and investment, and recognition can be a hindrance for emerging furniture exporters.
One of the critical challenges facing industries worldwide, including Bangladesh, is the availability of skilled workforces. This issue is particularly pressing in sectors like manufacturing, technology, and services where a highly skilled and competent labor force is a prerequisite for success. Here are some key aspects to consider:
1. Demand Outstripping Supply
The rapid growth of various industries has led to a surge in demand for skilled workers. Unfortunately, the supply of skilled labor hasn’t kept pace. This has created a significant skills gap, where employers struggle to find workers with the necessary expertise to fill critical roles.
2. Education and Training
In many cases, the education and training systems are not adequately equipping individuals with the skills needed for today’s job market. This gap between what is taught in educational institutions and what is required in the workplace is a substantial barrier to bridging the skills shortage.
3. Technological Advancements
The rapid advancement of technology requires constant upskilling and reskilling. Many workers find it challenging to keep up with the evolving demands of their jobs, leading to a deficiency in skilled labor.
4. Mismatch of Skills
There is often a mismatch between the skills possessed by the workforce and the skills demanded by industries. This misalignment can lead to underemployment and reduced productivity.
5. Aging Workforce
In certain sectors, an aging workforce is creating a gap as experienced workers retire, and there are insufficient numbers of younger, skilled workers to take their place.
Addressing the challenge of skilled workforces requires a multi-faceted approach. This includes reforming education and training systems to be more responsive to industry needs, promoting lifelong learning and upskilling, and creating attractive working conditions to retain skilled workers within the country.
Government and private sector collaboration, investment in vocational training, and initiatives to attract skilled workers back to the country can all contribute to addressing this challenge. A highly skilled and adaptable workforce is not only crucial for the growth of industries but is a key driver of economic development and competitiveness on the global stage.
While exporting furniture from Bangladesh to foreign markets presents its fair share of challenges, the prospects for the country’s furniture industry are undeniably promising.
By addressing issues related to quality control, design adaptation, sustainability, and market access, Bangladeshi furniture manufacturers can establish a strong presence on the global stage like RMG.
The inclusion of bonded warehouses, among other strategic measures, can help mitigate these hindrances, fostering an environment where the industry can thrive and contribute significantly to the nation’s economy.
With dedication, innovation, and a commitment to meeting international standards, the Bangladeshi furniture industry has the potential to become a formidable player in the global furniture market.
Despite these challenges, with the right strategies, including quality control, design adaptation, and a focus on sustainability, Bangladeshi furniture manufacturers can successfully overcome these hindrances and establish themselves as significant players in the global furniture industry, much like the RMG sector has achieved in the apparel industry.