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Apparel export to US ebbs down in last 7 months: BGMEA

BI Report || BusinessInsider

Published: 16:40, 26 September 2023   Update: 16:55, 26 September 2023
Apparel export to US ebbs down in last 7 months: BGMEA

Photo: Collected

Bangladesh's garment exports to the United States dropped by a one-third in the last seven months, Faruque Hassan, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said on Tuesday.

The apparel export to the European markets also declined by 14.50 percent during the same period, the BGMEA president said while addressing a press conference over the prevailing situation in the export market.

In the first 7 months of the current year, the overall apparel imports to the United States and the European Union came down at an alarming rate, he said.

During the period, the US global apparel import value decreased by 22.28 percent, while its import from Bangladesh declined by around 20 percent.

On the other hand, in terms of quantity, the global import of the United States decreased by 28 percent, while it decreased by 29 percent from Bangladesh, according to Faruque.

Meanwhile, Europe’s global imports fell by 7.5 percent and its imports from Bangladesh fell by around 12 percent.

In terms of quantity, Europe’s overall global imports fell by 13 percent and its imports from Bangladesh declined by 14.50 percent, he said.

Around 80 percent of Bangladesh's total apparel exports reach two main markets North America and Europe and the country’s RMG sector will face a crisis if the uncertainty looms in the two big markets, Faruque expresses concern.

He, however, said that they are working to explore new markets in the world in a bid to increase the export volume.

He said the production cost in the country’s readymade garment sector is increasing unexpectedly due to the increase in energy costs and nagging inflation, he said.

Claiming that the country’s RMG sector is passing through a crisis amid the global financial crisis, he said the sector will again face a setback if the new pay scale of the RMG makers is implemented now.

Meanwhile, Washington started imposing its new visa policy on Bangladeshi individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the country’s democratic election process.

In response to the move, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on September 23, said that the government is not worried about the US Visa restriction.

“We have nothing to lose, we are not worried about it because we are not doing anything wrong,” he told reporters during a press briefing at his residence in Gulshan on that day.

In a separate programme on the same day, Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman said that the visa policy would not disrupt the thriving trade relations between Bangladesh and the United States of America (USA).

He said, "Trade has nothing to do with the visa ban. I have repetitively said that the USA is Bangladesh's largest export market, and we have successfully captured that market through competition."

He further clarified that, unlike other regions such as Europe, the United States does not grant any special trade privileges to Bangladesh.

"The European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, and India have given us duty-free access to their market while the US does not offer any such concessions," he added.

He noted that Bangladesh is exporting to the competitive American market by paying 15.5 percent duty.