RMG businessmen demand bailout | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 19, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 19, 2009

RMG businessmen demand bailout

The trade body for readymade garment sector has demanded a government financial support package for the survival of the industry, as foreign buyers now offer at least 17 percent less price for Bangladesh's RMG products because of the ongoing global recession.
BGMEA President Anwa-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez raised this demand at an impromptu press conference in Dhaka yesterday.
He briefed on the latest situation in the RMG sector and what should be the next course of action to face any fallout from the financial trauma.
Parvez, however, pointed to the fact that the country records buyers' good response in terms of export orders, compared with other competing countries even in the recession period, but a reduced price is on offer.
"The competing countries like India, Pakistan and China have already given financial packages in different names for the survival of the apparel sector during the recession period," Parvez said in support of his demand for a bailout, also for Bangladesh.
Any bailout package will help fetch more than US$14 billion from RMG exports this fiscal, he argued, warning a drop to $12 billion in case the government does not come up with a rescue plan.
Parvez also pointed out that many countries have already become more competitive than Bangladesh because those are blessed with bailout packages.
Expecting a better exports figure in January than December of the last year, the chief of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said the March-April exports might not be good because of a 5 percent drop in receiving UD (utilisation declaration) certificates for exports.
BGMEA data show $6.05 billion exports during the first half of the current fiscal year (2008-09), registering a 24.18 percent growth.
The data indicate a remarkable growth in US apparel imports from Bangladesh during the season when it suffers a full blunt of recession after a poor retail sales in the last Christmas.
The retail sales of US clothing stores have dropped by 2.92 percent during July-November 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier.
US imports of knitwear and woven in July- December, 2008 were more than $558 million and $1.21 billion respectively.
The BGMEA chief said total import of knitwear in US is down by 1.56 percent during June-December 2008, whereas imports from Bangladesh increased by 24.87 percent.
Parvez said during the last calendar year three lakh more workers were employed in different garment factories and now the total number of RMG workers stands at 2.8 million.
"Every year BGMEA can churn out at least 17,000 skilled workers from all 31 technical training centres across the country to meet the shortage of skilled manpower for the sector," he said.

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