Newly elected Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Siddiqur Rahman here on Saturday claimed Bangladesh would be the country most affected by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - a trade deal signed by the USA and 11 other countries.
“Vietnam is one of our major competitors in apparel trade. Now as the country signed the TPP, its products will get duty free access to US market while Bangladesh will be greatly disadvantaged,” he said.
The BGMEA president came up with the observation at a press conference on overall situation of garments industry and future steps arranged at the BGMEA Complex in city’s Karwan Bazar.
The TPP was signed between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the USA.
The TPP is a comprehensive agreement that will open markets, set high-standard trade rules and address 21st-century issues in the global economy. In doing so, it will aim to promote jobs and growth in the US and across the Asia Pacific region.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is tackling various adverse situations to sustain its share in the global market, Siddiqur Rahman said, “We renovated our factories as per the recommendation of Accord and Alliance, despite no rise in the price paid by the buyers.”
He said Bangladesh would lose its market share of RMG imports into the US , as Vietnamese RMG products will enter the American market completely free of duty once TPP is activated.
At present, Bangladesh pays 15.62 percent duty for its garment exports to the US, whereas Vietnam pays 8.38 percent.
The recently elected BGMEA president urged the government to start diplomatic efforts to connect Bangladesh in the TPP deal.
Rahman also said the RMG sector is facing international pressure due to the murders of two foreigners, but the number of cancellations of visits by potential foreign buyers is “not that much”.
He said Bangladesh currently holds five percent share of total RMG market in the world, which must be raised by an additional one percent to reach the industry target of $50 billion RMG export target by 2021.
BGMEA vice president Faruk Hasan, SM Mannan Kochi and Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu; former president Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez and Abdus Salam Murshedy were present at the programme.