Bangladesh exports up 11 pct in 2013/14 as garment sales surge

DHAKA, July 10 Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:43am EDT

DHAKA, July 10 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's exports in the 2013/14 financial year that ended in June rose 11.65 percent from a year earlier to nearly $30.18 billion, boosted by stronger clothing sales, the Export Promotion Bureau said on Thursday.

Garments are a vital sector for the South Asian nation, whose low wages and duty-free access to Western markets have helped make it the world's largest apparel exporter after China.

Garment exports surged 14 percent to $24.5 billion in 2013/14 from a year earlier.

The garment industry, which supplies many Western brands such as Wal-Mart WMT.N, Tesco TSCO.L and H&M HMb.ST, has been under the spotlight after a string of fatal factory accidents, including the collapse of a building housing factories in April 2013 that killed more than 1,130 people.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Kim Coghill)