The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have urged the government to continue policy support to maintain the competitiveness of the ready-made garment industry amid global economic challenges.
A delegation led by BGMEA President Faruque Hassan made the call during a meeting with Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Sunday (4 February), said a press release.
The delegation comprised former BGMEA president Md Siddiqur Rahman, BGMEA Senior Vice President SM Mannan (Kochi), Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) President Mohammad Ali Khokon, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Executive President Mohammad Hatem, and Vice President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FBCCI) Md Munir Hossain.
The meeting was also attended by Commerce Ministry Senior Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and Finance Division Secretary Md Khairuzzaman Mozumder. The business leaders extended congratulations to Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali for assuming the responsibilities of this crucial ministry. The meeting focused on the pressing issues of the ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh. The impacts of the global economic situation on the RMG industry along with LDC graduation and its implications on Bangladesh’s trade were discussed in the meeting.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan highlighted the major challenges impacting the RMG industry, including the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine war, which has led to severe inflation in the United States and countries in the European Union. This inflation has resulted in a decline in apparel exports to major markets for Bangladesh. A decrease in garment exports means a negative impact on Bangladesh’s foreign reserves as the RMG industry accounts for 84% of the country’s total export earnings, he added.
Moreover, the industry has taken the challenging task of implementing a new minimum wage for garment workers amid rising prices of energy and raw materials.
In this challenging environment, the sudden decision by the government to cut cash incentives on the shipment of garments and other export-oriented products is expected to have a negative impact on exports and the overall economy, Faruque Hassan said.
The BGMEA President requested the government to reconsider this decision and continue the policy support of cash incentives as before.
Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali assured the delegation that the government would look into the issue of cash incentives to support the RMG industry.