Home Apparel BGMEA fires reports on deletions of retailers’ tours

BGMEA fires reports on deletions of retailers’ tours

International apparel retailers did not postpone any trip to Bangladesh following the killings of two foreign nationals, Siddiqur Rahman, the newly elected president of BGMEA, said yesterday.Rahman’s comments run counter to media reports that the officials of Swedish retail giant H&M have suspended their scheduled trip to Bangladesh for security reasons.“No H&M officials postponed trips to Dhaka,” Rahman said.“A top official of the retailer visited Dhaka last week and also met me.Rahman spoke at his first press conference as the chief of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association at the association’s office in Dhaka, where he also introduced his board members.He took the reins of the association last month to lead the country’s main export earning garment sector for the next two years.Terror threats are not alarming in Bangladesh, Rahman said, adding that the global media sensationalised the killings of an Italian aid worker and a Japanese national.The garment sector has recently been going through a rough patch due to the devaluation of major currencies, price cuts by retailers, inadequate supply of gas and power and the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.It is true that the garment sector in Bangladesh has been facing the problem of uneven competition due to unethical buying practices by the international retailers, he said.The standards of compliance have improved a lot in the sector after rigorous inspections by the Accord and the Alliance, as the factory owners have been continuing the remediation activities following the recommendations of the engineers of the two foreign agencies.In the six months to July, Bangladeshi garment items faced a price fall of 2.45 percent in the US market and a 1.41 percent fall in the European market, when the cost of doing business increased by nearly 10 percent in Bangladesh.The garment owners also have to spend between Tk 5 crore to Tk 20 crore to retrofit their factories to implement the recommendations of the Accord and the Alliance, which fuelled the cost of doing business further, he said.“Despite having a lot of challenges, we are still hopeful that the country will be able to achieve the $50 billion export target by 2021.”Bangladesh will have to grab 8 percent market share of the $650 billion global garment market to reach the export target, Rahman said.