Garment Industries In Dhaka City And Its Impact On The Neighborhood Environment

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Garment Industries in Dhaka City and Its Impact on the Neighborhood Environment

1.1 Introduction

Bangladesh is a tropical country in South Asia that is situated in the delta of two major rivers that flow down from the Himalayas (the Ganges and the Jamuna). The country’s land surface is therefore largely composed of alluvial silt, rendering the soil highly fertile. Historically, this has made Bangladesh an agricultural nation; although agriculture contributes only about a fifth of the national GDP, it employs three-fifths of the labour force (ADB, 2005).

The Economy of Bangladesh is constituted by that of a developing country.<href=”#cite_note-0>[1] Its per capita income in 2008 was US$1389 (adjusted by purchasing power parity) lower than the world average of $10,497.<href=”#cite_note-CIA2007-1>[2] According to the gradation by the International Monetary Fund, Bangladesh ranked as the 48th largest economy in the world in 2008, with a gross domestic product of US$224,889 million. The economy has grown at the rate of 6-7% p.a. over the past few years. While more than half of the GDP belongs to the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important produce.

Bangladesh has made significant strides in her economic sector since her independence in 1971. Although the economy has improved vastly in the 1990s,<href=”#cite_note-0>[1]. Reproductive Health and Rights is Fundamental for Sound Economic Development and Poverty Alleviation,” United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved June 9, 2009.<href=”#cite_note-CIA2007-1>[2]. CIA World Factbook 2007

Bangladesh still suffers in the area of foreign trade in South Asian region. Despite major impediments to growth like the inefficiency of state-owned enterprises, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, inadequate power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms, Bangladesh has made some headway improving the climate for foreign investors and liberalizing the capital markets; for example, it has negotiated with foreign firms for oil and gas exploration, better countrywide distribution of cooking gas, and the construction of natural gas pipelines and power stations. Progress on other economic reforms has been halting because of opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions, and other vested interest groups. The especially severe floods of 1998 increased the country’s reliance on large-scale international aid. So far the East Asian financial crisis has not had major impact on the economy. Like many other third-world countries, Bangladesh relies quite heavily on exports to provide for the needs of its densely populated nation. The same products sold locally will generally fetch a much lower price than they would on the international market. This means that it is far more profitable for the country to engage in exportation than it is to engage in local trade. While this may mean that a large percentage of the countries GDP is sent off abroad as Bangladesh exports instead of being enjoyed by the country’s own people, it also allows for a steady influx of foreign currency.

Currently Bangladesh’s main export items are garments, jute and jute-related goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood. Just three years ago the country made over $2 000 billion from export trade. The majority of the country’s trade is conducted with the USA but a small portion of exports also sees its way to Germany, the UK, France and Italy. However these figures should not mislead you into thinking that the country is well-off. As one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in the world, the majority of these profits generally make their way into the pockets of a few wealthy while the rest will be thinly spread out amongst those involved in the production of these goods. To add to this, the country’s economy depends on an erratic monsoon cycle as well as drought and flooding which makes regular harvesting difficult. The breakdown of various exports by sector is given in the Table-1.1 (Bangladesh Bank, 2005). The figures are for the 2003-2004 fiscal year.

Table 1.1: Major Export Items and Receipts, 2003-2004

Item Export receipts (USD millions)
Woven Garments 3538.07
Knitwear Products 2148.02
Terry Towels 68.31
Other Textiles 135.49
Frozen fish 390.25
Jute goods 246.45
Raw jute 79.70
Leather 211.41
Fertilizer 80.67
Tea 15.81
Others 688.81
Total Exports 7602.99

Source: Bangladesh Bank

As can be seen from the Table, garments and textile items are the dominant export product, accounting for 77% of the country’s total export receipts. This is a relatively new phenomenon. For centuries, the chief export of the Bengal economy was jute, a natural fibre which is used in making carpets, sacks and hessian, but whose economic value went into precipitous decline after the advent of plastic bags and synthetic packaging material in the 1960s and 1970s.

World Bank predicted economic growth of 6.5% for 2006. Foreign aid has seen a decline of 10% over the last few months but economists see this as a good sign for self-reliance.There has been 18% growth in exports over the last 9 months and remittance inflow has increased at a remarkable 25% rate. Export was $10.5 billion in fiscal year 2005 exceeding the target export of $10.4 billion. Target export for current year is $11.5 billion. An estimated GDP growth of 6.7% was predicted for FY 2006.

Table 1.2: Total Export and Import of Fiscal Year

Fiscal Year Total Export Total Import Foreign Remittance Earnings
2007-2008 $14.11b $25.205b $8.9b
2008-2009 $15.56b N/A $9.86b
2009-2010(Set Target) $17.6b N/A $10.87b

Source: World Bank

1.2 Nature of the Problem

Agriculture, as the case in Bangladesh, has been the backbone of economy and chief source of income for the people of Bangladesh, the country made of villages. Government wants to decrease poverty by getting highest productivity from agriculture and achieve self-reliance in food production. Apart from agriculture, the country is much concerned about the growth of export division. Bangladesh have accelerated and changed her exports substantially from time to time. After Bangladesh came into being, jute and tea were the most export-oriented industries. But with the continual perils of flood, failing jute fiber prices and a considerable decline in world demand, the role of the jute sector to the country’s economy has deteriorated (Spinanger, 1986). After that, focus has been shifted to the function of production sector, especially in garment industry. Garment Industries of Bangladesh are situated in four districts. They are: Dhaka, Chittagong, Narayanganj and Gazipur. (Map 1.1)

The garment industry of Bangladesh has been the key export division and a main source of foreign exchange for the last 25 years. At present, the country generates about $5 billion worth of products each year by exporting garment (BGMEA, 2008). The industry provides employment to about 3 million workers of whom 90% are women. Two non-market elements have performed a vital function in confirming the garment industry’s continual success; these elements are

(a) Quotas under Multi- Fiber Arrangement1 (MFA) in the North American market and

(b) Special market entry to European markets. The whole procedure is strongly related with the trend of relocation of production.

In Bangladesh Garment Industries have impacts on Socio Economic Environment. These sectors open a new horizon of Bangladeshi Economy. The social environment has changed due to the Garment Industries. Ninety percent of the Garment industries’ labours are women (BGMEA Bulletin, 2008).It also have that impact on our natural environment. Most of the Garment Industries disposed the waste here and there. It pollutes the water of pond, river, canal, and also pollutes air which is very harmful for human being. In our urban life this sector affect on housing, urbanization, life style, independency, work capability etc.

The surveys of 1990 and 1998 (M. Helal and K. Amena, 1999) show that most female garment workers are new entrants in the labor market. The findings show that about 93 percent of female garment workers and 70 percent of their male counterparts do not have any previous work experience.

Map 1.1: Garment Industries in Bangladesh

Source: Author

Most of the female workers with past work experience were engaged either in domestic service or in self-employment in tailoring/sewing. The survey of 1993 indicates that about half of the female workers employed in non export industries had previous work experience, mostly as industrial workers, self-employed workers, and maids. (Mitchell, 1979; Islam, 1992).

Women constitute about 66% of the workforce in the export oriented garment Industry in Bangladesh. By contrast, women’s share of employment in non export industries is negligible, only about 7 percent. The assembly-line nature of garment manufacturing is one of the main reasons for higher employment of women in this industry. A problem faced by working women (migrants) especially in urban areas is the lack of proper accommodation. Khan (1993:77) notes that it is terribly expensive for a single person to rent an accommodation on her own. It is also difficult to find a landlord who would let out his place to a single woman we found during d fieldwork, that women face extreme hardship to meet ends because of low wages and high rental costs. Usually, rent consumes 60% of the monthly wages of a worker. Zohir and Paul-Majumder (1996), Paul-Majumder and Begum (2000) and Zohir (2000) have done extensive research on housing of garment workers and their study illustrate that accommodation, at present in the city, is not adequate for 1.5 million workers.

Journey to work is the single most important aspect of women emerging as factory workers which pose as an ecological barrier. In a city where women were invisible in the streets, thousand of women workers going to work early in the morning and late in the evening created a novel sight. Those who worked during the early phase i.e., during the early eighties complained of a fair amount of negative attitude and comments from passersby particularly late in the evening. As 80% of the workers walk they were chaperoned but things have changed from mid eighties and the question of street harassment does not arise (although one or two incidents are bound to occur at basically personal levels) (Razia S. Ahmad, 1994)

A Slum is equivalent to a squatter settlement. In Bangladesh a Slum comprises of a group of thatched or tin-roofed one-room houses that stand next to each other with inadequate shared sanitation facilities. Usually the rent is between Tk.800 to Tk.1800 per month. Sometimes there is electricity and stove with private bath facilities.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Research

Based on the garment industries a whole neighborhood environment catering to the needs of the Labour spring up or when a new industry is set up within a neighborhood, the area undergoes changes that can be both negative and or positive. The main objective of this study is to look into this aspect of garment industries through location and overall environment.

The specific objectives of this thesis are as follows:

1) Analyze the location of industries under study

2) Investigate how garment industries affect the neighborhood through studying the socio-economic & living condition of the local inhabitants.

1.4 Present Research Methodology

This Research has two objectives. These are Locational analysis and Impact Assessment. Following are the research procedures:

1.4.1 Selection of the Study Area

Dhaka is the Capital of Bangladesh and the main city. Ninety percent of Garment Industries are established within the Dhaka city (BGMEA Bulletin, 2008). Here Dhaka has been defined as Dhaka City Corporation (Map 1.2). Randomly chosen garment industries and their neighboring environs have been selected for study.

1.4.2 Sample and Research Area Selection

In the Dhaka City Corporation there is a total of 3607 numbers of Garment Industries. Out of this huge number only 40 garment units from six zones were studied. The selection procedure of the sample units is given below:

Firstly, The BGMEA member list of 2008 published address of 3607 Garment Industries. Since the Industries are all spread out over a large area, only six zones have been selected for study. Within the zones of Motijheel, Malibagh, Karwan Bazar, Mohakhali, Mirpur, and Badda there are 1491 industries. Only 40 industries out of this 1491 have been studied.

The calculation of the sampling was as follows (Islam. Zohirul, 1994):




S = Sampling number of Garment Industries

Map 1.2: Study Area

Source: Author

Map 1.3: Study Area of the Research

Source: Author

N = Total Sample Number (40)

Z = Number of Garment Industries in this Zone

Serial No Zone Number of Garment Industries Selected Sample Real Sample Sample NeighborSample (Sample X 10)
1 Motijheel 293 40 7.86 8 80
2 Malibagh 154 40 4.13 4 40
3 Karwan Bazar 82 40 2.19 2 20
4 Mohakhali 276 40 7.50 8 80
5 Mirpur 604 40 16.20 16 160
6 Badda 82 40 2.19 2 20
1491 40 400

1.4.3 Selection of the Respondents

In the Research, main objective is to assess the impact of garment industries on the neighborhood environment. In this research the attitude of respondents is the most important aspect of analysis. So, the age and sex also become important factors in the research. House owners are also important as respondents in the data collection (Onibukon, 1970). In this study, some times the house owner (male) is not in the home, in such cases house owner (women) have given the information important for our research work Ten Interviewee were selected in every residential area. So, the total sample was to be 400 (40 x10) for this study.

Map1.4: Location of Garment Industries in Dhaka

Source: Author

1.4.4 Data Collection

For this research, data were collected at two levels- through mapping and a questionnaire survey.

1.4.5 Analysis of Data

In this research two type of data analysis. So there are two type of data analysis process.

Data for this study have been analyzed by using simple statistical techniques and also by diagrams and maps.

Location of garment industries has been shown on maps.

While data collected through questionnaires have been cross tabulated and represented by average, percentage etc.

1.5 Limitation of the Research

There are always limitations in all survey. In this Research Work there are also some limitations. They are as follows:

A) At present (2009) there are 3607 of Garment Industries in Dhaka city, but only 40 Garment Industries have been taken as study units. This seems to be the main limitation of this study.

B) Location of the Garment Industries in the map may not be accurate for all industries. It is difficult to locate all industries from Google Earth and whatever previous work done does not provide with all information correctly.

C) It was feel that the respondents, workers or the neighborhood inhabitants were not speaking out the whole truth in front of the authority or due to outside influence.

D) Nothing comes free; a thesis like this needs money at all stages of work. For a student with no source of income, financial problem proved as a limitation of the study also.

1.6 Planning of the Research

Research Planning

Impact Assessment

Data Collection

Observation of Neighbors

Sample Area Sample Respondents



40 10

Sample size of the

Respondent of Neighbors



Data Analysis



a. Economic Approach General Table

b. Structural Approach Relational Table

c. Behavioral Approach



Data Presentation

Literature Review

In every research literature review is very important. Several authors have analyzed various aspects of the garment industry in Bangladesh and the BGMEA published directory gives a wealth of information regarding the number of garment industries in the Country, number of people involved etc.

2.1 Methodology

The key source of data is secondary data which is collected from BGMEA Newsletter, Reports, Bulletin, and Souvenirs. BGMEA also published the Members list and address of the Garments factory owners which are the most important for the research work. Some information has been collected from BIDS, BUET (Department of URP). Information has also been collected from Dhaka University (published or unpublished Research Paper) Journal, Report, Monograph and the Daily Newspaper, Weekly Newspaper and Magazines.

2.2 Theoretical Perspective

At present Garment Industries are the most important economic base factor of the country. The main objective of the research is Impact Assessment of the neighborhood Environment. In this section some information being given about Garment Industries, viz when it started in Bangladesh, cause of expansion, size of Garment Industries, and impact of Garment Industries in our socio-economic condition.

2.2.1 Garments Industries of Bangladesh

The garment industry of Bangladesh has been the key export division and a main source of foreign exchange for the last 25 years. At present, the country generates about $9 billion worth of products each year by exporting ready made garments. The industry provides employment to about 3 million workers of whom 90% are women. Two non-market elements have performed a vital function in confirming the garment industry’s continual success; these elements are:

(a) Quotas under Multi- Fibre Arrangement1 (MFA) in the North American market, and

(b) Special market entry to European markets.

In the field of industrialization, role of textile industry is found very prominent in both developed and developing countries. Economic history of Britain reveals that in the 18th Century the cotton mills of Lancashire in Britain ushered in the first industrial revolution of the world. Moreover, during the last 200 years or more many countries of the world have used textile and clothing industry as an engine for growth and a basis for attaining economic development (Ahmed, 1991). Over the past few years garment industry is found to have played such an important role in the process of industrialization and economic growth. This industry is in fact trying to put the wheel of her declining economic back to the track by giving essential life blood to it (Chowdhury, 1991). The growth of garment industry in Bangladesh is a comparatively recent one. In the British period there was no garment industry in this part of the Indo-Pak-Sub Continent. In 1960 the first garment industry in Bangladesh (The East Pakistan) was established at Dhaka and till 1971 the number rose to five (Islam, 1984). But these garments were of different type intended to serve home market only. From 1976 and 1977 some entrepreneurs came forward to setup 100% export oriented garment industry. Both domestic and international environment favored the rapid growth of this industry in Bangladesh. By mid seventies the established developed suppliers of garments in the world markets i.e. Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Srilanka and India were severely constrained by the quota restrictions imposed by their major buyers like USA, Canada and European Union. To maintain their business and competitive edge in the world markets, they followed a strategy of relocation of garment factories in those countries, which were free from quota restrictions and at the same time had enough trainable cheap labour. They found Bangladesh as one of the most suitable countries.

Table 2.1: Growth of Garments factories in Bangladesh:

Year Compound Growth Rate in %
1977 5.77
1981 82.70
1983 34.45
1984-85 65.03
1989-90 14.60
1994-95 23.52
1999-00 7.96
2004-05 5.12
2005-06 3.48






Source: Md. Salim Uddin & Mohammed Abu Jahed (2007)

The Table-2.1 shows that the growth was very slow till 1977 and got a momentum from 1977 to 2005-06 in terms of number of industries. But the compound growth rate was highest till 1981 and the rate was very good during 1989-90 to 1994-95 and thereafter i.e. 1994-95 to 2004-05, the industrial growth has been declined though the numbers of industries have increased. The capacity as well as number of equipments are very good indicators to examine the actual position of the garment industry as well as size of the industry.

2.2.2 Expansion of the Garment Industries in Bangladesh

The tremendous success of readymade garment exports from Bangladesh over the last two decades has surpassed the most optimistic expectations. Today the apparel export sector is a multi-billion-dollar manufacturing and export industry in the country (H. Mohammed, 2007). The overall impact of the readymade garment exports is certainly one of the most significant social and economic developments in contemporary Bangladesh. With over one and a half million women workers employed in semi-skilled and skilled jobs producing clothing for exports, the development of the apparel export industry has had far-reaching implications for the society and economy of Bangladesh. European Union found Bangladesh is one of the most suitable countries.

Table 2.2: Number of Garments factories in Bangladesh:

Year Number of Garment Factories
1983-1984 134
1984-1985 384
1985-1986 594
1986-1987 629
1987-1988 685
1988-1989 725
1989-1990 759
1990-1991 834
1991-1992 1163
1992-1993 1537
1993-1994 1839
1994-1995 2182
1995-1996 2353
1996-1997 2503
1997-1998 2726
1998-1999 2963
1999-2000 3200
2000-2001 3480
2001-2002 3618
2002-2003 3760
2003-2004 3957
2004-2005 4107
2005-2006 4220
2006-2007 4490
2007-2008 4740

Source: BGMEA, 2008

Since the late 1970s, the RMG industry started developing in Bangladesh primarily as an export-oriented industry although; the domestic market for RMG has been increasing fast due to increase in personal disposable income and change in life style. The sector rapidly attained high importance in terms of employment, foreign exchange earnings, and its contribution to GDP. In 1999, the industry employed directly more than 1.4 million workers, about 80% of whom were female.

Figure 2.1: Number and Employment of Garment Industries in Bangladesh

Source: BGMEA, 2008

With the growth of RMG industry, linkage industries supplying fabrics, yarns, accessories, packaging materials, etc. have also expanded. In addition, demand for services like transportation, banking, shipping and insurance has increased. All these have created additional employment. The total indirect employment created by the RMG industry in Bangladesh is estimated to be about 300,000 workers (BGMEA, 2008). In addition to its economic contribution, the expansion of the RMG industry has caused noticeable social changes by bringing more than 1.12 million women into labour force. The economic empowerment of these working women has changed their status in the family (Abdel-Latif, Abla M., 1993). The attractive opportunity of employment has changed the traditional patriarchal hegemony of the fathers, brothers, and husbands. Most working women can now chose when to get married or become mothers. The number of early Marriage is decreasing; so is the birth rate; and the working girls tend to send their little bothers and sisters to school, as a result, the literacy rate is increasing. They can participate in family decision-making. Most importantly, the growth of RMG sector produced a group of entrepreneurs who have created a strong private sector. Of these entrepreneurs, a sizeable number is female. A woman entrepreneur established one of the oldest export-oriented garment factories, the Baishakhi Garment in 1977. Many women hold top executive positions in RMG industry.

2.2.3 Causes of Rapid Expansion of Garment Industries

Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore were the most Garment export oriented Country in the World. In the World market they dominated in some decades. In 1976 Bangladesh first exported the Garment Products and since then the growth has been very rapid.

Some factors have been found behind the rapid growth of the Garment Industries (Rahman, 1988). They are:

1. Easy Technology

2. Low price Labour

3. International quota System

4. Government Industries Policy and Easy Loan System

The presented information reveals that the tendency of low labour charges is the key reason for the transfer of garment manufacturing in Bangladesh. In the Garment Industries the technology is easy and less costly. The investment of a Garment Industry is relatively less than any other Industry. Some calculations show that US$ 500 is the capital investment per labour in a Garment. Less investment and congesting work environment is the cause of rapid growth of Garment Industries in Bangladesh. The cause of this transfer can be clarified by the salary structure in the garment industry, all over the world. Apparel labour charge per hour (wages and fringe benefits, US$) in USA is 10.12 but it is only 0.22 in Bangladesh. This difference accelerated the world apparel exports from $3 billion in 1965, with developing nations making up just 14 percent of the total, to $119 billion in 1991, with developing nations contributing 59 percent. In 1991 the number of workers in the ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh was 582,000 and it grew up to 1,404,000 in 1998. In USA, however, 1991 showed 1,106.0 thousand workers in the apparel sector and in 1998 it turned down to 765. 8 thousand.

Bangladesh has the lowest wages of Asia. Following is a Table (No-2.3) showing the situation of the world wages system.

Table 2.3: World Apparel Manufacturing Labor Costs in 2008

Apparel Manufacturing Labor Costs in 2008
In US$ per Hour- Including Social Charges
Countries Labor Cost US$/Hour Labor Cost US$/Hour Bangladesh=100 Labor Cost US$/Hour India=100
Bangladesh 0.22 100 43
India 0.51 232 100
Pakistan 0.37 168 73
Vietnam 0.38 173 75
Sri Lanka 0.43 195 84
Indonesia 0.44 200 86
China(Inland) 0.55-0.80 305 131
Egypt 0.83 377 163
Russia 1.01 459 198
Philippines 1.07 486 210
Malaysia 1.18 536 231
Thailand 1.29-1.36 600 259
Mexico 2.54 1155 498
Source: Jassin – O’ Rourke Group, LLC
© (1998-2008)

2.2.4 Structure and Association of Garment Industries

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is the only recognized trade body that represents all the export oriented garment manufacturers and exporters of the country. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is the officially recognized apex apparel export trade body of 4,740 apparel manufacturing units. The RMG sector earned over US$ 9 billion in 2006. The BGMEA helps to drive commerce by increasing sales of Bangladeshi-produced garments and pursues excellence in the Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG) sector through its activities and programmes, including establishing and nurturing relationships with foreign buyers, businesses and trade associations, organizations, chambers, and research organizations. The BGMEA also acts as a pressure group to protect the interests of the RMG sector and acts as a facilitator of trade negotiations with global trade bodies such as the WTO, ILO, and UNCTAD. All the Garment Industries of Bangladesh are the own property.

2.2.5 Role of Garment Industries in Socio-economic Condition of Bangladesh

Bangladesh has earned nearly $9 billion in 2005-06 by exporting garment products, mainly to Europe and the United States. This is about 75 percent of total export earnings of the country. The RMG industry has around 4,740 units across the country. It employs about 3 million workers, most of whom are poor women. Whenever the country is criticized for its high level of corruption and confrontational politics, its garment industry is held up as a success story. Bangladesh is a tropical country in South Asia that is situated in the delta of two major rivers that flow down from the Himalayas (the Ganges and the Jamuna). The country’s land surface is therefore largely composed of alluvial silt, rendering the soil highly fertile. Historically, this has made Bangladesh an agricultural nation; although agriculture contributes only about a fifth of the national GDP, it employs three-fifths of the labour force (ADB, 2005). Garment Industries are the main export oriented product in Bangladesh. It affects the Socio economic environment. It controls the foreign currency and women empowerment, Housing, Urbanization, and Economic Growth of Bangladesh. Garments Industry occupies a unique position in the Bangladesh economy. It is the largest exporting industry in Bangladesh, which experienced phenomenal growth during last two decades. By taking advantage of an insulated market under the provision of Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) of GATT, it attained a high profile in terms of foreign exchange earnings, exports, industrialization, and contribution to GDP within a short span of time. The industry plays a key role in employment generation and in the provision of income to the poor. Nearly two million workers one directly and more than ten million inhabitants are indirectly associated with the industry (Ahmed and Hossain, 2006). The sector has also played a significant role in the socio-economic development of the country. In such a context, the trend and growth of garments export and its contribution to total exports and GDP has been examined (Table No. 2.4).

Table 2.4: Growth and Trend of Garments Exports, and contribution to GDP

(Amounts in Million US$)

Year Garment Export (Min USD) Total Export (Min USD) Share to Total Export in % Share to GDP in %
1984-85 116 – 934 – 12.42 –
1989-90 624 (40) 1924 (16) 32.43 (21)
1994-95 2228 (29) 3473 (13) 64.15 (15) 5.87 –
1999-00 4349 (14) 5752 (11) 75.61 (3) 9.23 (9)
2004-05 6418 (8) 8655 (9) 74.15 (-1) 10.63 (3)
2005-06 7901 (23) 10526 (22) 75.06 (1) 12.64 (2)

Source: Economic Review of Bangladesh, BGMEA, 2007

It is revealed from the Table that the value of garment exports, share of garments export to total exports and contribution to GDP has increased significantly during the period from 1984-85 to 2005-06. The total garments export in 2005-06 is more than 68 times compared to garments exports in 1984-85 whereas total country’s export for the same period has increased by 11 times. In terms of GDP, contribution of garments export is significant; it reaches 12.64 percent of GDP in 2005-06 which was only 5.87 percent in 1989-90. It is a clear indication of the contribution to the overall economy. It also plays a pivotal role to promote the development of linkage small scale industries. For instance, manufacturing of intermediate product such as dyeing, printing, zippers, labels has begun to take a foothold on limited scale and is expected to grow significantly. Moreover it has helped the business of basking, insurance, shipping, hotel, tourism, and transportation. The sector also has created jobs for about two million people of which 70 percent are women who mostly come from rural areas. The sector opened up employment opportunities for many more individuals through direct and indirect economic activities, which eventually helps the country’s social development, woman empowerment, and poverty alleviation. In such a way the economy of Bangladesh is getting favorable contribution from this industry.

2.2.6 Other Survey/Research work

Researchers not involved in any way with garment industries have studied the RMG from various perspectives. Thesis works include several studies by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Salma Chowdhury and Protima Mazumdar (1991) and the Bangladesh Unnayan Parisad (1990). Rahman (2004), Huq. Hossain (1995) and others. These studies use accepted survey and research methodology to analyze a wealth of data on the social and economic background, problems, and prospects of female workers in the RMG sector.

Professor Muzaffar Ahmad looks at the industrial organization of the sector and discusses robustness and long-term viability of apparel manufacturing in Bangladesh. Wiig (1990) provides a good overview of this industry, especially the developments in the early years. One of the few studies on the Bangladesh apparel industry to be published in a reputed journal in the U.S. is that of Yung Whee Rhee (1990) who presents what he calls a “catalyst model” of development.

The Bangladesh Planning Commission under the Trade and Industrial Policy (TIP) project also commissioned several studies on the industry. Hossain and Brar (1992) consider some labor-related issues in the garment industry. Quddus (1993) presents a profile of the apparel sector in Bangladesh and discusses some other aspects of the industry. Quddus (1996) presents results from a survey of apparel entrepreneurs and evaluates the performance of entrepreneurs and their contribution to the success of this industry. Islam and Quddus (1996) present an overall analysis of the industry to evaluate its potential as a catalyst for the development of the rest of the Bangladesh economy.

Mohammad Mafizur Rahman (2004), Paper entitled The Foreign Trade of Bangladesh: Its Composition, Performance, Trend, and Policy. In this paper he discusses the composition, performance, and trends of foreign trade of Bangladesh. In the process, he examines Bangladesh’s export and import performance compared to those of various countries, regions and the world over the years. He also discusses the sources of Bangladesh’s imports and directions of Bangladesh’s exports and the dynamic changes over the years, and highlights the trends of export and import shares to GDP and trade balance positions with different countries, regions as well as the world.

Dr. Shahnaz Huq-Hussain’s (1995), Paper Fighting poverty: the economic adjustment of female migrants in Dhaka, analyzes the process of adjustment by poor female migrants coming to Dhaka in terms of their economic motives such as their plans to work, occupational involvement, work satisfaction, income earned, control over income and their role in the family economy. The influence of occupation on migrant females’ urban adaptation is also discussed.

Md. Salim Uddin & Mohammed Abu Jahed (2007), described Garments Industry: A Prime Mover of the Socio Economic Development of Bangladesh. The objective of this paper was to study and evaluate the growth and development of garment industry in Bangladesh, To examine the contribution of garment industry to the national economy of Bangladesh and To study the trend of garment product development and its composition in order to analyze the product portfolio and its diversification.

Chapter Three

Analytical Perspective

3.1 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Man Environment interactions are the long time tradition of Geographic Knowledge (Mitchell, 1979). Environmental Impact Assessment includes the processes of analysing, monitoring, and managing the intended and unintended Environmental consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, and projects) and any Environmental change processes invoked by those interventions. According to Olsson G (1965), its primary purpose is to bring about a more sustainable and equitable biophysical and human environment.

Impact Assessment is now an established part of development activity. There are many guidelines, tools and ‘ Best Practices ‘ in different areas of enterprise development. The main focus to date has been on accounting to Government and NGOs for particular project and programme investments in preference to others. The aim of this research work is to identify the Impact Assessment in Neighborhood Environment of a Garment Industries. So, here find the theoretical perspective of the Impact Assessment of Neighborhood Environment. In this section I am trying to describe the definition of Impact Assessment, Classification, and Theoretical perspective.

According to Egyptian Annual Report of Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs (2007), the purpose of EIA is to ensure the protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources including human health aspects against uncontrolled development. The long-term objective is to ensure a sustainable economic development that meets present needs without compromising future generation ability to meet their own needs. EIA is an important tool in the integrated environmental management approach.

The legal one is quite straight forward: to ensure that development projects such as a housing estate, a road/bridge or some such construction project has a minimal impact on the environment in its entire ‘lifecycle’ i.e. during design, construction, use, maintenance, and demolition. Many countries (Australia, Canada, China, Nepal, EU, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and United States etc.) now have laws stipulating that unless an EIA study is carried out (particularly for large infrastructure projects), permission for construction will not be granted by the local authority (Sadler, B., 1996).

3.1.1 What Is Impact Assessment

The process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the possible impact positive or negative that a proposed project may have on the Environment; considering natural, social and economic aspects. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider the ensuing environmental impacts to decide whether to proceed with the project. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an Environmental Impact Assessment as “the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.”<href=”#cite_note-0>[3]

<href=”#cite_note-0>[3] “Principle of Environmental Imapact Assessment Best Practice.” International Association for Impact Assessment. 1999.

The level and pace of socio-economic advancement in developing countries has important implications for the efficacy with which legislature and institutional regimes are developed and applied for the promotion of environmental management.

In the first instance, the imperatives of rapid social and economic development could influence the political will to initiate, implement, and enforce appropriate environmental policies and laws.

Secondly, these development imperatives often circumscribe the limits of resources available for environmental protection.

Thirdly, implementing agencies often operate under severe resource constraints and fourthly, the relatively low level of public awareness, particularly environmental awareness does little to trigger a sense of urgency and resolve for political and legislative action for environmental management for sustainable development. (Alan Gilpin, 1995)

In the absence of familiarity with environmental legislation and the environmental impacts of human activities there is likely to be no spontaneous observance of normative demands for efforts at environmental protection and enhancement. In the last instance, the desire to satisfy basic social needs could very well override even basic environmental considerations. It might also be remembered that environmental management in many countries, especially the developing countries, is achieved not only through environmental legislation, i.e. laws, regulations and rules which are enforceable in a court of law, but also through administrative provisions such as administrative orders, technical standards etc. which are applied through various administrative mechanisms (Wilson S., 1996). This is especially true in relation to the implementation of international environmental conventions. Often, many years pass before provisions are established in laws for the implementation and application of the provisions of international agreements. It is equally true in the implementation, especially at its early stages, of environmental policy, such as the requirement of environmental impact assessment in respect of development projects and the procedures to be followed in respect of such assessments. From this perspective, environmental legislation is one of the chief tools for formulating environmental policy while also being one of the major instruments for implementing it.

3.1.2 Context of Impact Assessment

Development which comprises a change or extension requires EIA only if the change or extension is likely to have significant environmental effects. This should be considered in the light of the general guidance in this Circular and the indicative thresholds in area. However, the significance of any effects must be considered in the context of the existing development. In some cases, repeated small extensions may be made to development. Quantified thresholds cannot easily deal with this kind of ‘incremental’ development (Y. J. Ahmad and G. K. Sammy, 1987).

Characteristics of development

The characteristics of development must be considered having regard in particular, to

a. the size of the development;

b. the cumulation with other development;

c. the use of natural resources;

d. the production of waste;

e. pollution and nuisances;

f. the risk of accidents, having regard in particular to substances or technologies used.

It should be noted that a developer can be asked to provide an Environmental Statement only in respect of the specific development he has proposed, though the statement will need to address not only direct, but also indirect effects of the development (Espoo, 1991). Any wider implications would be for the local planning authority to consider, although it is open to developers to assist the local planning authority by supplying any additional information relevant to this consideration.

Types of Impact Assessment on the basis of subjects are as follows (Smith, 1981 & Smith 1993). They are:

1. Technology Assessment-TA

2. Environmental Impact Assessment- EIA

3. Social Impact Assessment-SIA

4. Community Assessment- CA

5. General Welfare Assessment- WIA or Total Assessment

3.1.3 Method and Approach

For most projects, particularly those involving large public investments in areas such as infrastructure, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be carried out and linked to the cost-benefit analysis. The objective of the EIA is to ensure that environmental aspects are addressed and potential problems are foreseen at the appropriate stage of project design. EIA should be envisaged as an integral part of the planning process and initiated at the project level from the start.

According to Natural Resources Conservation Authority (1997), various guidelines on EIA are available. The main steps are as follows:

Preliminary activities include the selection of a coordinator for the EIA and the collection of background information. This should be undertaken as soon as a project has been identified.

Impact identification involves a broad analysis of the impacts of project activities with a view to identifying those which are worthy of a detailed study.

Baseline study entails the collection of detailed information and data on the condition of the project area prior to the project’s implementation.

Impact evaluation should be done whenever possible in quantitative terms and should include the working-out of potential mitigation measures. Impact evaluation cannot proceed until project alternative has been defined, but should be completed early enough to permit decisions to be made in a timely fashion.

Assessment involves combining environmental losses and gains with economic costs and benefits to procedure a complete account to each project alternative. Cost-benefit analysis should include environmental impacts where these can be evaluated in monetary terms (see Economic Analysis section).

Documentation is prepared to describe to the work done in the EIA. A working document is prepared to provide clearly stated and argued recommendations for immediate action. The working document should contain a list of project alternative with comments on the environmental and economic impacts of each.

Decision-making begins when the working document reaches the decision maker, who will either accept one of the project alternatives, request further study or reject the proposed action altogether.

Post audits are made to determine how close to reality the EIA predictions were.

A) Catlow and Thriwell Model:

Impact Group Subdivision
The natural Environment The flora and fauna, insect life and organisms, and ecological regimes in identifiable terrains or aquatic habitats.
The Human Environment
1. Esthetic quality and the physical and natural environment Esthetic quality in rural and urban areas including landscape quality and accessibility for its enjoyment
2. Impact on employment a. On the land including fishing and the hunting of gameb. On the employment within the local area
3. Impact on health, safety and convenience a. On health though the apprehension of hazardb. On health though polluting emissions to water, land, and the atmospheres, including solid waste disposal and radiation.c. Nuisance affection health, comfort, and convenience arising from dust, grit, fumes, heat, light, noise, vibration, and wind.

d. on pedestrian safety and convenience through changes in movement and traffic

4. Impact on social and cultural well being a. Arising from the breaking up or disturbance of existing communities or group.b. Through disturbance and severance and change in homes and neighborhood.c. Through disturbance to or loss of recreational facilities.

d. Through disturbance to the concept of the man in the perspective of history either to long established patterns of living and working or to specific archaeological or historical remains.

Source: Catlow and Thirlwell (1976, p.13)

B) Bart Residential Model:

Dimension label

Aesthetics of the residential area

Felling about living in this area

Noise disturbing outdoor activities

Traffic safety

Noise from sources outside own and neighbors homes

Safety of self and property

Noise disturbing indoor activities

Noise from sources in own and neighbor homes, except aircraft and trains

Characteristics of people in the area

Air quality

Maintenance (by residents) with in own block

Nonautomobile Mobility

Maintenance services



Automobile Mobility

Noise from aircraft and trains

Animal’s nuisance

Alienation among residents

Environmental correlates of alienations

Adapted from Carp, Appleyard, Shokrkon, and Zawadski (1973)

C) Florence C. Ladd Model:

Perceiver Groups Environmental Factors
Residents Region
Developers Urban- Suburban- rural
Mortgage bankers Neighborhood configuration and type
Real estate board members House type
Politicians Age of housing and neighborhood
Urban designers

Associated Factors

Social Physical

Human dimension of delivery of Services

Identification with other residents

LocationLocation in relation to services spatialConfiguration of home and neighborhood

Physical amenities



Open Space


Air quality

Noise level


Source: Florence C. Ladd (1978)

3.2 Locational Pattern Analysis

Main objective of Geography is to discuss about the space or distribution pattern of any locational object. Geographers realized that spatial data present specific analytical problems that require particular treatment and for which standard procedures have to be modified. In this section the need is to discuss about distribution and locational pattern of Garment industries. A wide range of issues in geostatistics was identified, such as the problems of spatial autocorrelation in analyzing all spatial data. Analyzing spatial data has been extremely facilitated by developments in computer.

By the late 1960s these new practices were synthesized in influential innovative textbooks on both sides of the North America. Notable examples include Peter Haggett’s Locational Analysis in Human Geography (1965), Richard Chorley and Haggett’s Models in Geography (1967), Ron Abler, John Adams, and Peter Gould’s Spatial Organization (1971), and Richard L. Morrill’s The Spatial Organization of Society (1970). Each emphasized the theme earlier pronounced by Wreford Watson that “geography is a discipline in distance.”

The Locational Pattern Analysis and flows were synthesized to describe the Garment pattern in Dhaka City. The goal was just to describe those Industries and their operations and also to model them (statistically and mathematically), thus producing general knowledge about the spatial organization of society rather than just specific knowledge about individual places. Location allocation models suggested both optimum locations for facilities and efficient flows between them.

In the Map locational data can be represented by four methods (Hammond & MeCullagh, 1980). They are:

Point distribution

Line distribution

Non Continuous Area distribution

Continuous Area distribution

Garment Industries are the Secondary economic activities. In these activities there are some selected theories which called Industrial location Theory. They are:

Economic Theory

Behavioral Theory

Structural Theory

Economic Theory provides an outlet for research in all areas of economics based on rigorous theoretical reasoning and on topics in mathematics that are supported by the analysis of economic problems. The models made relatively simple assumptions regarding human behavior; the principle of least effort predominated, with monetary considerations preeminent, and it was assumed that decisions were based on complete information. These were later relaxed, and more-realistic models of spatial behavior were based on observed decision making in which the acquisition and use of information in spatial contexts. In all senses men are not always logical. So they have some limitation to do the work (Simon, 1959). In these cases they always do not think about maximization of profit but they think about locational suitability (Rees, 1974). These considerations made human behavioral theory. In these theories the Industrialist make decision to establish their Garment in a suitable location. In these situations all the proprietor does not think about their profit but they think about locational pattern. So, it can realize that the Structural theory is the most suitable for establishment of Bangladeshi Garment Industries.

Concept of Locational Analysis

One of the most important objectives in Geography is the Locational Pattern Analysis. The Pattern of Garment and the location of Garment Industries are describing in this research.

I) Nearest neighbor analysis (NNI):

Nearest neighbour analysis examines the distances between each point and the closest point to it (Fotheringham, et al 1994 and Wulder, 1999). The Nearest neighbour is a method of exploring pattern in Locational data by comparing graphically the observed distribution functions of event-to-event or random point-to-event nearest neighbour distances, either with each other or with those that may be theoretically expected from various hypothesized models, in particular that of spatial randomness (Upton, 1985), i.e. it describe distribution of points according to their spacing.

The Nearest neighbour index measures the degree of spatial dispersion in the distribution based on the minimum of the inter-feature distances (Chou, 1997), i.e. it is based on the distance between adjacent point features. Such that the distance between points features in a clustered pattern will be smaller than in a scattered (uniform) distribution with random falling between the two. The equation for the nearest neighbour is computed through the following steps:

Ad = (åidi)/n. di is the distance from point i to its nearest neighbour; Ad is the average of nearest neighbour distance of the point pattern; n is the total number of points in the chosen map area.
Ed=1/2sqr(A/n) E