Batexpo kicks off Thursday
After two worst-ever factory disasters that eroded buyers' confidence, garment makers plan to hold their annual apparel exposition in a grand manner this year, mainly to restore the image of the sector.
The 24th Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (Batexpo) will begin on October 10 to showcase local apparel products to the international community at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka, organisers said yesterday.
Though the apparel extravaganza usually takes place in November or December, the organisers plan to open it early fearing possible political unrest.
Buyers have responded positively about attending the show, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), at a press conference at their office in Dhaka.
“I hope the accidents [Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza building collapse] will not have any impact on the show.”
The BGMEA-sponsored exhibition showcases Bangladesh-made apparel items to the international retailers, fashion designers and brands.
“We are expecting more spot orders this year as our prices are competitive,” Islam said. Bangladeshi manufacturers are also focusing more on product diversification.
Orders at the show will outpace last year's $61.67 million as an increased number of buyers have shown interest to participate in the event, he said.
Both local and international manufacturers will display their products to buyers from the US, Canada, Hong Kong, the UK, Thailand, India, China and Pakistan, at 80 stalls at the show.
However, the BGMEA chief said a record fall in the value of the Indian rupee and higher exports by Vietnam, a major competitor of Bangladesh, will bring them tough times.
India, another competitor of Bangladesh, is bagging more orders now as the rupee is falling, while the taka is in a strong position against the dollar, according to Islam.
He also said they are preparing a worker database and that of the Ashulia zone will be ready by the yearend.
Garment makers will have to clear salaries and festival bonuses of their workers before Eid-ul-Azha, otherwise the BGMEA will take actions against them, he said.
Three seminars on social accountability and security of the garment sector, the role of the media in the apparel business, and compliance issues, will be organised on the sidelines of the show.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to open the show, while opposition chief Khaleda Zia will attend the closing ceremony.