RMG to be whipped badly due to political unrest

Dhaka, Apr 16 (Priyo.com): The sustained political instability in the country has put a huge impact in ready made garments (RMG) sector and is feared to cause fall in orders by nearly 30 per cent by the end of the current year, apparel experts said.

They also said due to the recent political situation many buyers have started shifting orders to India, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia even at higher prices than Bangladesh to get uninterrupted supply of clothes in the coming spring and summer seasons.

"Fearing more volatility of political situation in the coming days, buyers' present attitude is not to take risk of shipment failure which may cause a drastic fall in orders in rest of the months of the current year (2013)," president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Md Atiqul Islam, told the media.

"Apparel makers are afraid of a significant fall in new orders and losing at least thirty per cent of orders if the restive political situation continues three to four months more," he added.

According to the BGMEA president, factory owners will have to count losses to the tune of over US$13.00 million due to scrapping of orders just in the last three to four months.

Meanwhile, the president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), A.K.M. Salim Osman said, "Buyers will not keep their stores empty considering the political volatility in Bangladesh. They are now considering importing clothes at higher prices from other destinations and are also cutting their own profit margins to remain competitive in the market."

"The readymade garment industry has long been struggling for its survival due to unfavourable business situation in the country like infrastructural drawbacks. Now political unrest has emerged as suicidal for the industry," he added.

Mr Osman, however, urged all the political parties to try to realise the adverse impact of the present situation on the country's economy and keep the export-oriented industries outside the purview of hartal, blockade and other activities that can harm normal operation of factories.

"Any kind of setback to the industry is a direct hit to the millions of people of the country. Every one has to keep it in mind," the BKMEA president added.

Earlier this month, BGMEA and BKMEA claimed, export orders worth about US$ 500 million of the RMG sector have already got diverted to neighbouring nations amid the political instability in the country.