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BGMEA worries over slower export, order diversion

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Staff Reporter
Apparel makers on Sunday expressed their concern over the slower export growth in the last couple of months saying that orders are being diverted to India and Vietnam, putting the sector at risk.
“In case of any storm over the sector, the entire economy will get shattered. It’s time to work together because once the business gets out of here, it’ll be very difficult to get it back,” BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam told a press conference at its conference room.
He said the buyers understand only business and profit, and they will go there where they will be able to avail themselves of better opportunities.
Atiqul Islam said the export growth that they had seen in July has significantly come down in August (5.5 percent). “We won’t be able to see the expected growth. It’ll get slower further.”
The BGMEA President also said there is a big challenge ahead following the massive devaluation of Indian Rupees (against dollar). “As per the latest data, there was 27.91 percent devaluation of Rupees while our currency saw appreciation by 9.41 percent. So, this is a big advantage for India.”
Seeking government attention to the matter, Atiqul Islam called for an immediate decision on price fixing over their ‘retention’.
The press conference was arranged to brief about the 24th Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (Batexpo-2013), the largest-ever three-day apparel show, beginning here on October 10.
BGMEA second vice president SM Mannan (Kochi), former BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedy, former vice president M Siddiqur Rahman and Chief Coordinator of the event Abu Mahmud Khan were also present.
Highlighting the Batexpo, Atiqul Islam said they have decided to arrange the event, a month earlier than usual time, to avert election time tension. “The foreign buyers remain alert during the election year.”
“We’re expecting better feedback this time. Some 55 buyers have already confirmed their participation. Twenty-three of them are coming for the first time,” the BGMEA chief said.
He said they are inviting the buyers with a message that things are okay here. “The entire world knows that something (changes) is happening in Bangladesh. This is a very important message.”
Atiqul Islam, also Managing Director of Islam Garments Ltd, said the last Batexpo received spot orders worth US$ 60.25 million while stocklot spot orders were US$ 1.42 million. “We’re expecting a bigger volume this time.”
There will be 80 stalls with the participation of local and foreign companies, banks and financial institutions.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the event at Sonargaon Hotel while opposition leader and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia will attend it as the chief guest in the concluding session.
Meanwhile, there will be three seminars-- Reinventing the RMG Sector: Emphasizing Social Accountability and Security’, Taking the RMG Sector Forward: the Role of Media in Sustainable Development and Eco Friendly and Compliant Factory - A pre-Condition for Future Business.’