Noman Group, the first Bangladeshi textile and garment manufacturing company to cross the $1 billion mark in export, is set to invest Tk 500 crore over the next three years to manufacture a specialised fabric.
Called the ‘Coolmax All Season’, the fabric’s demand is on the rise globally as it transports moisture away from the body to keep the wearer cool and dry on hot days, while the fabric’s fibre structures provide insulation on colder days.
A site in Bhaluka has already been selected for the factory, said Mohammad Abdullah Zaber, deputy managing director of Noman Group, which has 36 industrial units in operation now.
“The ‘Coolmax’ is a high value-added item,” he said, adding that a yard of the fabric sells for nearly $8 in the international market.
The fabric, which is derived from petro-chemicals, is mainly used to manufacture active sportswear items for the export markets.
Noman Group has set the target of manufacturing 120 tonnes of yarn in a day from the proposed plant and exporting $100 million worth of products a year, he added. Currently, the group employs 80,000 workers and the number will cross 1 lakh when the proposed plant will go into production.
Zaber also said the group’s total exports this fiscal year will cross $1.35 billion, up from $1.2 billion a year earlier. As part of the expansion plan, the group will also produce cloths for women’s veils for the local markets and for the Middle East markets in the near future.
However, he did not elaborate on this plan further.
“In Bangladesh, thousands of veils are sold every day and they are all made from fabrics imported from China.” The Chinese manufacturers are making a hefty sum by manufacturing this specialised fabric for the Muslim customers. “So, we have the opportunity to also grab the Middle Eastern market in future.”
Among the specialised clothing items, the group exports mosquito nets to India and Nepal.
The group’s main export item is bedsheets and other home textile items like curtains, floor mats, napkins and quilt covers. Apart from the Western markets, the group also has steady business in Asian markets like Japan and China, Zaber said.