• Saturday, October 25, 2014

Conspiracy against garment sector must fail: Tofail

Star Business Report

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday urged the owners and workers of garment industries to work together to achieve the export target for fiscal 2014-15.

The minister said some quarters have been trying to defame Bangladesh's garment sector but they will not be successful and the country will be able to reach the export target.

Ahmed's comments came at the concluding session of a three-day training workshop for business reporters at the Press Institute of Bangladesh. PIB and Economic Reporters' Forum coorganised the event.

“Despite the political turmoil, Bangladesh achieved its export target last fiscal year. This year's target will also be met.”

The government has set an export target of $33.2 billion for fiscal 2014-15, up 10.02 percent from last fiscal year. Exports grew 11.65 percent year-on-year to $30.18 billion in 2013-14.

The minister said exports to the US market rose 3 percent last fiscal year despite the cancellation of generalised system of preferences (GSP) facilities.

Exports to the European markets grew 17 percent.

Bangladesh is the second largest garment exporter after China in the world and some quarters in the country do not feel good to see the growth of the sector, Ahmed said.

Ahmed singled out IndustriALL Bangladesh, some worker leaders and a section of experts for hatching conspiracy against the garment sector.

“They (conspirators) tried to use the Tuba issue, but failed,” he said.

On the possibility of regaining the GSP benefits from the US, he said no country enjoys it currently. If the US reintroduces GSP, Bangladesh has no reason to miss it as the country has fulfilled almost all of conditions set by the Obama administration. Some conditions will be addressed soon, he said.

Accord, a forum of Europe-based buyers and Alliance, formed by America-based brands, have so far inspected 2,000 factories in Bangladesh and found only 19 or less than 2 percent vulnerable.

The percentage of vulnerable factories detected by these two groups is better than the global standard, which he said is more than 2 percent.

Abul Kalam Azad, managing director of state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha also spoke, while Shah Alamgir, director general of PIB, presided over the event.

Sultan Mahmud Badal, president of ERF, moderated the programme.

Over 35 reporters of print, electronic and online media participated in the workshop.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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