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Terry Towel industry is playing a special role in Bangladesh’s export trade.

This sub-sector of textile is

moving forward with a great demand in full swing overcoming many obstacles and challenges.
Considering the importance of the industry, the government has identified this sector as a ‘high
priority industry’. It is known that in the 1980s, a factory named Qualitex started making terry towel
in Chittagong EPZ. Now there are many industries around the country. There are now more than 150
small and large towel industries in Bangladesh. Of these, the registered number in Bangladesh Terry
Towel & Linen Manufacturers Exporters Association (BTTLMEA) is 110.

In the country, investment in towel production is 1.2 billion US dollars and annual production capacity
is 135 million kg. The number of workers in different factories is about 65 thousand. All towel factories
are working together to produce 100% export quality towels.

There are currently 30 to 35 types of terry towel products being made in the country. Their average
GSM is from 250 to 900 & 10 to 40 count yarn such as AC, RS carded, RS combed are used. America
is the biggest market of these products. Besides, products are being exported to all European Union
countries, Canada, Australia and Japan. Among the EU countries are importing significant amount of
terry towel from Bangladesh. As per BTTLMEA, country’s 50 percent terry towels are exported to EU,
40 percent to the USA and the remaining 10 percent heads for other markets. During FY2017-18, the
total export earnings from terry towel is about US $42.35 million which was US $44.30 million in
FY2016-17. Besides, Military, Navy and Air force are the domestic bulk buyers and modern elite
hotels, spa resorts, hospitals and restaurants purchase a large number of terry towel products for the
use of themselves from the local producers

Top 10 importer countries of home textile and terry towel products are USA, Germany, United
Kingdom, Japan, France, Australia, Spain, Netherlands, Canada, Italy etc. respectively. In the fiscal
year 2015-2016, the amount of import of these countries is approximately 14,178.04 million US
dollars. Among them only United States imported $ 6,359.96 million home textile and terry towel
materials. This sector jointly accounts for only US$ 1 billion (approximately) out of total US$ 28.5
billion export earnings in Bangladesh.

The top 5 countries for manufacturing and exporting home textile and terry towel products are China,
Pakistan, India, Turkey and Bangladesh respectively. Among them, Bangladesh is in 5th place.
According to statistics, China’s export was US$ 9449.87 million in 2015-2016, Pakistan’s US$ 2822.89
million, India’s US$ 1435.43 million, Turkey’s US$ 1177.35 million, and Bangladesh’s US$ 800.81
million in FY2016-17.

China, Pakistan and India are main competitors for Bangladesh for exporting of Terry towel. They have
their own raw materials (cotton), machinery, color-chemistry, skilled craftsmen. They have planned to
provide free uninterrupted power supply from nuclear energy to the textile industry. If the govt. can
ensure gas supply, lower price of raw materials, incentives, developed transportation systems and
competence of sea port, the country can easily earn US$ 5 to US$ 6 billion from export of terry towel
products within a couple of years.