Textile Today question of the month
Global buyers have canceled and suspended orders of readymade garment products worth US$1.98 billion from Bangladesh till 23 March, as the Coronavirus impact on the fashion industry goes on. They are not only canceling and suspending orders, but also not taking ready goods, and so is paying. We are highly dependent on Europe and the United States for orders, and on China for raw materials. We have seen many times to suffer our industry due to such external factors.
Asif Ibrahim, Director, BGMEA
We are facing a grave situation with the coronavirus. The brands are reducing their orders and are asking to hold on to uncut fabric. And those who are producing readymade garments (RMG) are being asked to hold their shipments as global consumption is coming to a halt.
This will have serious consequences as we see an imminent liquidity crisis which will lead to financial disruption of the manufacturing units.
President, the Board, past Presidents, industry leaders have been working relentlessly round the clock to handle the crisis. We are contacting all the brands representatives, embassy, President of EU, German minister. We request our buyers at least assured in taking shipment of goods that have already been manufactured.
Maheer Mannan, Deputy Managing Director, Shangu Tex Ltd
As an export-oriented country, Bangladesh will, for the foreseeable future, have to depend on the purchasing ability of foreign markets.
However, this will not always be true, especially if we manage to gain greater expertise in the raw material section.
Furthermore, our local market has also seen an upsurge in the purchase of clothes. In due time, our economy can stop depending on imports and exports. This global pandemic is undoubtedly unprecedented, which compels governments to take steps to minimize its effect. At this stage, defeating COVID-19 and saving lives should take priority over business.
Mohiuddin Rubel, Director, BGMEA
This is not an external or internal factor anymore; this is now a global factor. We had a supply shortage when the outbreak started in China, then it infected our export market now fully paralyzed.
Currently, we are running through a situation where everyday cases of COVID-19 are increasing in our country.
However, we have overdependence on a few markets for our imports and exports, that’s a reality and we cannot overcome those in near future given our comparative advantage. Coronavirus is one of its kind of natural calamity which I think happens once in a century, but we have to pay serious attention to our economic vulnerabilities and weaknesses and take strategies like diversification not only markets but also products. We need a contingency fund to tackle disaster preparedness, need to build our economic immunity so that all our achievements are not threatened.
Meherul Islam Sohel, DGM, Fabric Sourcing & Development, Kenpark Bangladesh
Corona Virus pandemic is a unique situation for our business it is a unique case for the whole world and all the business. At this moment to reduce the impact of it we have do take a no of short term measures first and then maybe in a month picture will be more clear, we will come to know more about from our customers based on that we have to take some long term strategies to reduce the impact of this kind of situation.
And finally, we will have a challenge in this tough period, but we have to look for opportunities also in this and find out a way of survival. It will help us how to learn how to overcome this kind of situation, it will open a new door for business for us as well as the making of PPE.
Shovon Islam, Managing Director, Sparrow Group of Industries
The government has come up with great support for the sector. It has offered a generous stimulus package to subsidize wages, convert loans to long-term debt and offer very reasonable interest rates.
We welcome it. But brands are acting like selfish and workers are irresponsible who are indulged by the media – the real victim are us.
The entire business community, media, labor representatives, our very loved Labor forces, and the Government needs to work together and stop blaming or finger-pointing. Otherwise, we will not make it through this unprecedented crisis.