BGMEA President Faruque Hassan on Wednesday said Bangladesh is working to develop the production capacity of its factories along with high-end value addition, enabling them to handle USD $7 or $8 billion apparel supply orders in a month in near future.
The President of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) came up with the disclosure while addressing a dialogue organised by Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) in its office in the capital.
“We’re getting huge orders from our regular buyers and a large number of new buyers rush here with apparel supply orders as production strength of Bangladesh has gained a trust among global buyers to supply products in all weather,” he told UNB replying to a query.
He said Bangladesh earned $4 billion exporting apparels in December 2021 alone, the highest-ever record in one month, as a result of keeping factories in operation and following health guidelines during the pandemic.
Bangladesh will soon achieve the ability of handling monthly order worth $7 or $ 8 billion for apparel supply, as all the sectors related to apparel production have been working to improve on this line, Faruque said.
He said there are a good number of world-class apparel factories in Bangladesh of which 153 are green ones. The year 2022 will be an important year for investment in backward linkage areas. “The country will see many improvements this year in the whole apparel industry.”
The BGMEA chief emphasised the need for maintaining good relations with all foreign friends and buyers for expanding the apparel sector to top level and diversification in productions.
BGMEA works with different ministries and Bangladesh Bank for infrastructure development, simplifying payment and tax collection in line with the challenges of LDC graduation, Faruque said.
He hoped that US sanctions on some people or forces would not affect the apparel business as Bangladesh is trying to resolve the issues. “We’re maintaining zero tolerance when it comes to factory compliance and labour rights issues. So, the factories of BGMEA members are running smoothly. BGMEA is also working to digitise the member factory list, along with a transparent system of working manpower numbers of each factory.”
Replying to another query, Faruque said all the political parties of Bangladesh are aware about the country’s economy and there is no need to involve in politics for doing business here.
He focused on signing PTA and FTA to face the situation after the country’s graduation from the LDC group along with applying GSP plus facilities for a better preparation of the sector.
Regarding repayment stimulus loans, the BGMEA president said the businesses want the duration of loan repayment to be extended so that they can run factory expenditure as well.
He acknowledged and thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her prudential steps of announcing stimulus packages and keeping the factories open amid the risk of pandemic, which keeps Bangladesh in apparel business with a strong footing.
BGMEA is working with a number of programmes, including an innovation centre, labour training institute to enhance the skills of local labour forces.
Despite the initiatives of skilled development, many foreign skilled workers have been working here at a very efficient tech-no-how level, but the number is gradually decreasing along with developing local skills, Faruque added.