Obama’s win: Mixed reaction from Asian textile sector
November 09, 2012 - Asia
The US election result has evoked a mixed reaction from the South Asian textile and apparel exporters. While, most of the textile and garment exporters in the region have welcomed the victory of Mr. Barack Obama, Pakistani exporters maintained that the outcome would not bring any change to the country’s trade policy and they do not foresee any major new benefit accruing to them.
Mr. Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, the first vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told fibre2fashion, “Mr. Barack Obama is a democratically-elected President and we hope that the new Democratic Government would be more liberal to the third world countries like Bangladesh.”
“We are confident that the new Obama Administration will take positive steps on the ongoing issue of duty-free access for Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG) to the US, considering our socio-economic condition,” he adds.
According to Mr. Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters’ Association of Bangladesh (EAB), “US economy is picking up and it is going to be a good time for Bangladesh textile and apparel exporters since more orders will be coming from the US.”
Whereas, Mr. Mohsin Aziz, former chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), was unhappy with the US election results and said, “It is not going to bring any change in the volume of Pakistan’s textile and apparel exports to the US.”
Echoing him, Mr. Waseem Lateef, former chairman of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), opines, “The victory of Mr. Obama will not make any difference as far as Pakistan is concerned. There would not be any change in the trade policies”.
Textile and clothing industry experts from other South Asian countries like India and Nepal have expressed optimism about a growth in their exports to the US, during the next four-year tenure of President Obama.
“Mr. Barack Obama’s victory will have a positive impact and we are very much hopeful about a surge in our exports”, avers Mr. Shanker Prasad Pandeya, chairman (Trade Committee) of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).
Echoing the same sentiments, Mr. A Sakthivel, chairman of Apparel Export Promotion Council (APEC), quips, “Obama’s re-election will bring prosperity to the entire Indian economy. President Obama is a very friendly person to India and his policies will help Indian exporters, including apparel exporters.”
Equally optimistic, Mr. M Rafeeque Ahmed, president of Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), opines, “The victory of Mr. Obama will augur well for the Indian textile industry. Currently, Indian exports to the US market are growing at a pace of 15 percent year-on-year, whereas exports to other countries are declining at 10 percent year-on-year. Since Mr. Obama is re-elected, we hope that the current growth trend in Indian exports to US will continue.”