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Garment trade in for grave times
Oct '08
International financial crisis has left Bangladeshi textile and clothing industry in turmoil. Traders are loosing huge orders, leading to massive drop in income as well as facing losses.

Garment sector adds US $11 billion a year into Bangladesh's economy, accounting for about 80 percent of exports and employing more than 40 percent of its industrial workforce.

Insiders stated that the dealers were hoping to pick up sales during the latter months of this year, especially considering the approach of Christmas in the West and some other festivals in Asian countries. Orders from the US and EU make up 90 percent of all shipments.

Some traders said that this was the busiest time of the year but now orders have plunged by around 40 percent than that in 2007.

Industry biggies are refuting the Finance Minister Mirza Azizul Islam's claim that the trade slump is not major.

Sources stress that orders in September fell by 10 percent, and the industry is expected to experience a sharp decline like the one faced immediately after 9/11 in 2001.

Experts remind that nine out of 10 garments made here go to the US and EU, who are going through an unbelievable economic slowdown. High food prices in have already affected the wages.

There is an acute crisis of gas and power and labour situation is not good in the industry. Bangladesh is not prepared enough to face the current challenges, which are only going to get tougher by the day.

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