Garment makers demand an end to shutdowns
Garment makers yesterday reiterated their grave concern over the detrimental effects of the continuous political strikes on their export-oriented industries.
They urged the political parties to find alternative ways to achieve their political goals instead of damaging the economy through hartals.
The shutdowns will severely affect the growth and existence of the apparel industry, and make it impossible to achieve the annual target, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association said in a joint statement yesterday.
Many businesses have failed to meet shipping deadlines due to the frequent hartals, and others had to resort to costlier airfreight, according to the statement.
Timeliness is crucial in the industry as even an hour's delay in shipment could increase the risks of discounts, cancellation, deferred payment and losses, they said.
Consequently, many foreign buyers will feel discouraged to place orders with local producers if they cannot meet the schedules, according to the statement.
Even as the industry remains out of the scope of hartal, the delays in related industries -- dyeing, accessories and packaging due to shutdowns -- affect the garments industries as well.
The local political turmoil increases pressure on the garments industry which has been suffering from unstable economic situations in its two main markets: America and the European Union, they said.
The risk to the economy of a faltering garments sector is huge, as the sector contributes a lot towards employment generation, according to the statement.
In 2010-11, the contribution of the garment sector was Tk 1,090 crore to the banking sector, Tk 1,960 crore to shipping and Tk 170 crore to the insurance sector, according to a study of Nielsen Company (Bangladesh) Ltd.