POST TIME: 16 January, 2020 08:41:46 AM
RMG sector facing bottlenecks
Exporters tell opening ceremony of GAP Expo 2020

RMG sector facing bottlenecks

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi speaks at the inauguration ceremony of 11th edition of GAPEXPO 2020 in the capital yesterday. Rubana Huq, president of BGMEA, was also present among others on the occasion. PHOTO: COURTESY

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Rubana Huq has pointed out that the RMG sector has been performing well below its potential for quite some time and many factories are shutting down.

Fifty-nine garment factories have been shut down and 25,900 workers lost their jobs in the last seven months. The sector has registered a negative growth of 7.64 per cent, she said.

Huq was speaking at the opening ceremony of GAP Expo 2020 at the International Convention City Basundhara (ICCB) in the capital. The international RMG sourcing trade shows kicked off in the capital yesterday. Nearly 450 companies from 24 countries participated in the event.

Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association (BGAPMEA), in association with ASK Trade and Exhibitions Pvt Limited, and Zakaria Trade and Fair International organised the four shows—the 19th edition of GARMENTECH Bangladesh 2020-International Apparel Machinery and Allied Products Trade Show, the 11th edition of International Yarn and Fabrics Sourcing Fair, the 11th edition of GAP Expo 2020-International Garment Accessories and Packaging Show, and the PACKTECH Bangladesh 2020 International Expo on Packaging and Corrugation Technology.

“Most of the factories that were shut down came under the small and medium enterprise category. They failed to maintain strict compliance and to pay their workers under the new wage structure. Unplanned industrialisation, lack of skilled workers, lack of proper research and development, cost of doing business, downward trend of price in international markets—all of them add up to the basket of challenges,” Rubana Huq said.

Addressing the programme as chief guest, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, “After China, we're the biggest garments exporters. This sector experienced negative growth in the first six months of FY 2019-20. But we have immense potential for bagging more work orders. For that, entrepreneurs need bank loans at a lower interest rate. Policy development, research, and incentives are necessary for further advancement of garments


“West Bengal in India and Myanmar are the potential markets for us because they have started setting up new factories. So, there is ample opportunity to supply more accessory items to them,” he added.

Rafez Alam Chowdhury, advisor to the BGAPMEA, said, “Currently, the accessories and packaging manufacturing sector has more than 1700 factories. This is a sector worth USD 7 billion.”

BGAPMEA president Abdul Kader Khan said, “BGAPMEA factories currently meet 95 per cent of the demand of the country’s garments units and export the rest. Technical support is necessary to develop this sector. There is no data in EPB on the export earnings from accessories industries. The authorities must take steps in this regard and include the BGAPMEA in CIP policies.”

Nanda Gopal K, director of ASK Trade and Exhibitions Pvt Ltd, and Tipu Sultan Bhuyian, managing director of Zakaria Trade and Fair International, were also present at the inauguration ceremony along with other stakeholders of the industry.