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BKMEA urges govt to lobby for trade in South Africa
Oct '09
Mr Fazlul Hoque, President, BKMEA
Mr Fazlul Hoque, President, BKMEA
The garment export sector in Bangladesh which accounts for a major chunk of exports from the country has taken umbrage to the fact that the government is not doing enough to promote exports of clothing from the country to South Africa.

Recounting his visit to South Africa, Mr Fazlul Hoque, President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) raised doubts on the ability of just two men in the Bangladesh embassy in South Africa to promote their products.

He demanded of the government to appoint a Commercial Counselor in South Africa who can work on harnessing the potential of the Bangladeshi garment sector.

According the chief of BKMEA, Bangladeshi apparels account for only 4.3 percent of the South African $1.2 billion annual imports, while it is 70 percent from China, 5.5 percent from Mauritius and 4.7 percent from India.

He said, there is ample scope to export textile fabrics along with T-shirts, sweaters, cotton trousers, basic shirts and jeans, which are the most-favoured items in South Africa.

The value of Bangladesh garments that were exported to South Africa in fiscal year 2008-09 is $43 million, but it is possible to reach around $500 million apparel exports in the next two years, he added by saying.

He identified 40 percent duty and 14 percent value added tax (VAT) as impediments in apparel exports to South Africa, but the Director of Textile Office in South Africa has assured all help to bring down the tariffs, he said.


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