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Frequent strikes harm Bangladesh garment sector: BGMEA
Apr '13
Frequent strike calls given by political parties is estimated to have caused Bangladeshi readymade garment industry to lose around US$ 3 billion worth of new business opportunities, so far this year, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Muhammad Atiqul Islam.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Islam said, at least US$ 500 million worth of garment orders have been lost to India since January this year, due to strikes in the country. 
Bangladesh’s readymade garment industry, which contributes over 80 percent to the country’s export revenues and provides livelihood to over four million people, suffers a production loss of Tk 2 billion on each day of shutdown, he added.
In the wake of financial downturn in the EU and US markets, Bangladesh garment exporters started exploring new markets in countries like India, South Africa, China, Chile, Russia, Argentina, Japan and Brazil.
Following their efforts, new buyers have started showing interest in importing apparels from Bangladesh, but the frequent strikes have upset their calculations. It has resulted in buyers placing their orders in competing markets like Vietnam and Cambodia, which have secured 22 percent and 15 percent more orders, respectively, this year.
In the absence of frequent shutdowns, Bangladesh clothing sector would have secured 40 percent more overseas orders, Mr. Islam said.
In addition, garment enterprises are facing the threat of cancellation of orders by foreign buyers due to failure in making timely deliveries.
Thus, highlighting the plight of the industry, Mr. Islam urged political parties to find alternative ways to resolve their issues, rather than resorting to strikes.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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