Bicycle is one of our light engineering export industry contributing about 0.24% to total export.
It is about 12% of the country’s total engineering exports. On average, about 1 million bicycles are exported per year.
The available report claims, Bangladesh is now the 3rd largest non-EU exporter of bicycles to the EU and the 8th largest exporter globally.
How Bangladesh entered into this opportunistic market?
This success, recent growth is linked to GSP protection in exporting to the EU and penalty imposed on China, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer.
The imposition of anti-dumping on China 48.5% now, by the European Bicycle Manufacturing Association, has created that opportunity for Bangladesh to enter the EU market.
Availability of low wage labour has given Bangladesh a competitive edge over other countries such as China, Taiwan, and Europe in manufacturing bicycles.
Currently, Bangladesh export bicycles to 18 countries, mostly to the European Union (EU) market especially UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, Portugal, Russia, and India.
This industry is now comprised of three major active manufacturers and two of them are export-oriented only. However, there are several assemblers and manufacturers of parts and spares.
Meghna Group is the leading at this pace. Alita Bangladesh, a Taiwan based company is the second-largest exporters. Pran– RFL Group is the latest entry more focused on the local demand.
We have experienced steady growth in exporting bicycles; however, we cannot compete with their foreign competitors as we have to import the majority of the raw materials.
How can Bangladesh’s bicycle industry grow more?
Bicycle is an emerging export sector with a huge potential in the global market which is expected to grow to $34.9 billion by 2022.
We can easily increase our market share by taking domestic preparations given the scope in the Western market. The investors need supports, especially conducive environment for the growth of the sector.
Also, we need to focus on the bottlenecks that affect the competitiveness of the bicycles sector.
We should focus on is the export-oriented original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). We know, the production cost in the export-oriented OEMs is dominated by parts and components, most of which are imported.
We should build a solid link with the domestic market too as it is growing.
By activating these critical policy levers and attracting investment, and gradually reducing the quality gap between the domestic and export markets, we could see a positive impact on exports and employment in our bicycle sector.