President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association Atiqul Islam speaks at a press conference at the BGMEA office in the capital on Tuesday. Photo: Focus Bangla
The garment sector incurs production loss worth Tk 200 crore in a day for shutdown, which is forcing the international buyers to shift their orders to other destinations, the BGMEA chief said on Tuesday.
The chain impacts of such losses are more damaging, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
He was speaking at a joint press conference with the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) at the BGMEA office in Dhaka.
According to an estimate by the BGMEA, 32 garment factories lost orders worth $25.65 lakh, faced discount worth $11.32 lakh, spent $30.47 lakh for air shipment and delayed shipment worth $92.81 lakh for shutdowns from January 31 to April 20.
“This is the estimate of only 32 garment companies. The stories of the remaining 5,500 garment factories are inferred,” Islam said. This year the first hartal was observed by BNP-led 18-party alliance on January 31.
The alarming news for Bangladesh is that the exports of clothing items from Vietnam increased by 22 percent while from Cambodia by 15 percent recently. “It means that we are losing our businesses to our competitors,” Islam said.
“We are really concerned for political uncertainty. We want security of the factories,” Islam added.
Islam said in January-March, the garment makers incurred losses worth Tk 390 crore for expensive air shipment for delayed production.
While differentiating between normal and air shipments, Islam said in sea routes, it costs only 30 cents to send one kilogram (kg) of goods, but in air shipment the cost reaches to $4.15 for one kg, a 1,280 percent high.
“Not only the garment export, but also the domestic fabrics market is also facing losses from the shutdowns,” said Jahangir Alamin, president of spinners’ platform BTMA.
The businessmen are trying to resolve political crisis through the apex trade body the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said AKM Salim Osman, president of BKMEA.
The businessmen are scheduled to gather April 26 in Dhaka to form opinions regarding the current political situation and businesses, he said.