12 November 2023, 02:10 pm
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Farooq Hasan said that although the minimum wage has increased significantly over time, the capacity of the industry has not increased much.
He said that in the first 9 months of the current year 2023, the global apparel import value of the United States has decreased by 22.81 percent, while their import from Bangladesh has decreased by about 23.33 percent. During the same period, imports from the rest of the world decreased by 25.16 percent, while imports from Bangladesh decreased by 29.37 percent. In August alone, the value from Bangladesh decreased by 33.71 percent and in September by 34.72 percent.
BGMEA president said these things in a press conference held at Uttara BGMEA complex meeting room on Sunday (November 12).
Farooq Hasan said that in the first 8 months of 2023, global imports from Europe decreased by 9.61 percent and from Bangladesh decreased by 13.71 percent. Only in the month of August it decreased by 26.06 percent. The country’s overall exports in October 2023 declined by 13.64 percent compared to October 2022 and the actual export performance in October 2023 fell below the strategic target of apparel exports by 28.35 percent.
He said, in recent times, one of our major markets, the US, has started a decline in apparel prices, which is creating new concerns for the industry. Overall, the price of clothing exported to the United States from the world market last August decreased by 8.03 percent. In the same month (August 2023), the price of goods exported from Bangladesh to the United States decreased by 5.76 percent.
BGMEA President said that the cost of production in the garment industry has increased manifold due to international factors in recent times. Gas prices have increased by 286.5 percent and electricity prices have increased by 21.47 percent since 2018. In the last five years, the cost of production in the garment industry has increased by about 40 percent. Not only that, bank interest rates have been increased to control inflation in developed countries, as a result of which the cost of funds has also increased for our buyers, the pressure of which has to be borne by the entrepreneurs. Since 2013, the wages of the workers have been increased regularly at the rate of at least 5 percent every year. The Central Fund is being implemented from the financial year 2016-17, which is spent on various welfare of the workers. The money of this fund is being spent on the welfare of the workers.