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Energy tariff hike to interrupt manufacturers’ drive to move forward

In the last few years Bangladesh’s textiles, apparel and accessories sectors have taken steps to work on technology and process upgradation, product and market diversification. Which shaped a decent development of the country’s readymade garment (RMG) and its allied sectors right after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the move on the big hike in gas prices for power plants and industries will interrupt manufacturers’ drive to hasten their steps to move forward.

Figure: Bangladesh’s RMG and its allied sectors to feel the heat of energy tariff hike.

Industry leaders have been coming forward with new investments to grab new opportunities created in the global market. Recently Bangladesh’s apparel exports witness the highest 41.76% growth in the EU beating China (22.43%) in the first 10 months (January-October) of 202. Charles Whiteley, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh visited some factories in the country and praised them for ensuring a better work environment and the safety of the workers with high care. Also, he promised to buy more clothes from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh’s garments exports in the USA- the single-largest export destination for Bangladesh –observing an inspiring growth. Besides, China’s moving towards high-tech industry and the latest coronavirus surge in that country are playing big roles in diverting RMG orders to Bangladesh.

On the other hand, one of our competitor countries Pakistan is facing a devastating situation. All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has mentioned that the country’s textile exports may fall below USD 1 billion per month from 2023 onwards. In addition, millions of people in Pakistan’s textile and garment-related industries have been laid off due to the government’s failure to end the economic crisis. We expect Pakistan will move forward soon, however, until the situation is remaining dire, global buyers will look for a better alternative and here Bangladesh has a great opportunity.

Considering all the opportunities backward and forward linkage industry of the apparel sector has invested a lot and planning to invest more. Their target is not only to grab new orders, but also they are robustly working for technology and process upgradation, product and market diversification as they can create a new identity changing the existing one ‘the cheap product producer’.

However, we see the gas price has increased to a record high though there is a lack of continuous gas supply. While industry people were dreaming to make the year 2023 the year of investment both in the backward and forward linkage sectors, this gas price hike undoubtedly will impact the move.

We find the same conclusion from the prediction of CAL Bangladesh, a Sri Lankan capital market financial services company.

A few days ago CAL Bangladesh predicted that amid the global market slowdown and local adverse factors, the apparel industry is likely to face a dip in 2023. However, CAL also predicted that Bangladesh’s apparel exports to grow at a 5.3% compound annual rate and reach $56 billion by 2026.

Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry – more than five decades experienced industry – has the strength to lead the global textile and apparel domain, however, Bangladesh’s government needs to ensure proper support to make it happen.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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