New textile policy to focus on facing China challenges
A new textile policy will be placed before the council of advisers next week with a special focus on challenges stemming from withdrawal of safeguard measures on Chinese exports, a senior government official said on Monday.
"The new policy, Textile Policy 2008, has recommended measures to maintain competitiveness of Bangladesh's apparel products in the global market as the ceiling on exports from China to EU has expired, while the export restriction from China to US will be lifted by the end of this year," said the official at Textile Strategic Management Unit (TSMU).
The safeguard measures were introduced in EU and the US in 2005 following the final phasing out of multi-fibre arrangement for garment and textile exports to minimise trade gap with China.
The official also said the new textile policy will recommend for installing backward linkage industries to enhance the usages of local raw materials for the export oriented RMG products.
At present, country's primary textile sector (PTS) supplies 80 percent of raw materials for knitwear sector and 35 percent for the woven sector.
“We have strongly suggested for setting up Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) in the factories,” he said, adding that TSMU suggested the government and businessmen should make businesses more environmental friendly as this is one of the major determinants for future business growth of the country
In the new textile policy the TSMU recommended for 10 percent cash incentives to the exporters of RMG products instead of existing 5 percent, he said.
The TSMU official said the unit recommended for measures to cope with the withdrawal of safeguard measures against China.
The safeguard measures set against China have already been withdrawn from the EU market in January of this year while such measures against China will be withdrawn from US market in 1st of January of next year.
“We have also recommended some measures to enhance the competitiveness of RMG products in the global market through aggressive marketing strategies,” TSMU official said.
The country's textile policy, which has not been changed since its latest adoption in 1995, has proved to be inadequate to fulfill the demands of the current business trends.
The government has responded to this by making amendments to the existing textile policy with recommendations from trade bodies like BTMA, BKMEA and BGMEA, the TSMU official said.
TSMU, a project under the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, has been given the responsibility to prepare the textile policy.
The President of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) Abdul Hai Sarker said although they urged the government for several times earlier to formulate the new textile policy with emphasis on the changing global market scenario, the government did not give any heed.
“Surely, formulation of the new textile policy will be very beneficial for the RMG sector as the business trends in the sector have changed a lot over the last 13 years since 1995,” Sarker said, adding that the change should have come much earlier.
“The new policy is, somewhat, coming late,” he said.
A senior official of the BKMEA said earlier they suggested that the government should make the policy investment friendly in areas such as dyeing and chemical manufacturing to reduce import dependency for those items.
“We also recommended for measures to improve productivity and ensure compliance, both socially and environmentally,” he said.