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   Interview - bkmea


Textiles contribute largely to the foreign exchange earnings for Bangladesh. Against this valuable contribution, how has the Government support been so far and what are your expectations from it in the future?

Mr. Md. Fazlul Hoque

To date government support can be termed as moderate. We have received cash incentive, back to back L/C, duty drawback system, bonded ware house facility, duty free import of machinery, and some other facilities in areas of utility services in the form of VAT reduction. Recently government has lifted ban on importing yarn through Benapole Land port, which we were demanding for last couple of years, which is a significant development and will help the industry to grow.

But government poorly failed to assure us the minimum electricity requirement, even as gas pressure is also decreasing at an alarming rate. Physical infrastructure has deteriorated in many cases and the port facility is worse. If these are not worked out on a priority basis and improved immediately, then it will act as a detriment to the industry as we will not be able to reach the targets.

We can not show any apathy towards the aforementioned problems when our economy is dependent on only one sector that is capable of creating employment at an exponential rate if the problems are properly addressed.


BKMEA seeks to expand knitwear market in USA through duty free access. What are the prospects for this fructifying, and will it not upset other countries from within the LDC block over this preferential treatment to one of its member country?

Mr. Md. Fazlul Hoque

In fact, BKMEA never worked to get duty free access in USA, as knitwear's main destination was EU countries where we were and are enjoying duty free access and the growth is also satisfactory. The post-MFA provided us the opportunity to enter and explore the US market and we have decide to utilize this opportunity in what ever way we can. The growth (70.06%) in US market after the post-MFA tells the story.

But after post-MFA, woven products have lost their momentum and as it was predicted so, BGMEA is trying to get duty free access in USA. In fact, Bangladesh is the only LDC country that is not getting any benefit from US as far as apparels is concerned. All other LDC countries are getting benefit from US either under CBI or AGOA. So, Bangladesh is deprived of the benefit of duty free access to US while others are enjoying. We expect US to provide us the duty free benefit and make the platform equal for all LDCs. This will help the country's woven sector to grow and together with knitwear, both sectors can take the country a long way.

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Published on : 27 Feb 2006
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