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Political turmoil has cost apparel sector Tk 4.5bn: BGMEA
Jan '15
“The ongoing political turmoil in Bangladesh has cost the apparel industry Tk 4.5 billion,” the chief of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) said.

Addressing a media conference, Atiqul Islam, president at BGMEA urged politicians to find a solution to the ongoing impasse as the nation-wide blockade has cost the sector Tk 450 crore.

“The daily production value in the garment sector is estimated at Tk 430 crore per day. So, even if half of it is disrupted, the blockade is disrupting output valued at Tk 215 crore per day, he said.

Islam said since the blockade began, some units have been forced to ship goods by air to supply buyers on time, while others may have to offer discounts or face order cancellations and even deferred payments.

He informed that in 2013, the apparel industry had to bear air shipment cost of Tk 5,000 crore and had to offer discounts totaling to Tk 9,000 crore due to political turmoil in that year.

“The working of the apparel industry is normally not affected by strikes and unrests, but supply of raw materials, accessories, etc and transportation of export goods gets affected, he explained.

He urged political leaders in the country to ensure a safe supply chain for the industry, by resolving the deadlock and offer a safe environment.

The Bangladeshi garment sector, the second biggest after China, accounts for 80 per cent of its total exports and directly employs over four million people, mostly poor from rural regions.

He added, “Additionally, various forward and backward linkages industries have developed around the sector, like shipping, clearing and forwarding agents, banks, insurance, etc which have thrived due to the sector.”

According to Islam, the political unrest is discouraging global clothing buyers from placing orders in the country.

Sounding a note of warning, Islam said that if the Bangladesh garment business was impacted further, a huge number of people employed by the sector will lose their jobs. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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