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Political instability put apparel sector under big threat. BGMEA may meet Khaleda Zia

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bgkStaff Reporter
BGMEA, the country’s apparel sector apex trade body, on Monday said they would go to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, if necessary, to convince her not to call negative political programs that hurt the economy badly.
“We’ll go to her (Khaleda), if necessary,” President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) M Atiqul Islam told a press conference.
Later, the BGMEA President told that they will wait for a few days and then seek appointment from the BNP chief. “We’ll let her know about the overall scenario, our export target and how it’s going down due to the blockade and hartal.”
The press conference was arranged to brief the media about the current political situation. BGMEA Second Vice President SM Mannan (Kochi) and Vice President M Shahidullah Azim were also present.
Expressing concern over the current political situation, the BGMEA President said buyers are not showing interest to place orders due to the political instability, and urged the political parties to resolve their differences through discussions.
“When we had been telling buyers that we’re back to business, the buyers are telling us now your county is in blockade for the last 12 days. So, you’re again back to the pavilion,” Atiqul Islam said.
He alleged that politicians, in the name of political programs, are holding hostage their business and investment. “Country’s apparel industry is in deep trouble.”
The BGMEA chief said buyers feel discouraged to place orders when they see the absence of political instability and lack of security for life and property. “If this political instability continues, an uncertainty will grow among foreign buyers.”
Atiqul said they had to count air shipment worth Tk 5,500 crore and discount worth Tk 9,000 crore due to political instability before and after the January-5 elections. “We don’t want to die. We want to survive. This important apparel sector can no way be destroyed.”
He urged the political parties to keep the entire supply chain -- forward and backward linkage industries, product-carrying trucks and covered vans -- of the apparel industry out of hartal and blockade purview.
“We urge all the political parties to make specific announcement publicly for keeping export-import supply chain uninterrupted. Do your politics saving the industry. Give us a safe supply chain,” said the BGMEA leader.
He mentioned that the global stakeholders of the apparel industry, during the first-ever apparel summit, assured Bangladeshi exporters of giving more business in the coming days.
“When we’re expecting good business, our dream turns unrealistic. We don’t know in which direction we’re going ahead,” he added.