Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Thursday urged the UK to soften its stance in banning air cargoes from the country until March 31.
"We are (simultaneously) requesting the (Bangladesh) government to inform the UK that what types of steps are being taken for intensified airport security within March 31," BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman told an urgent press briefing a day after the report on the ban was announced.
He expressed concern over the restriction fearing it to adversely impact on Bangladesh economy saying "we will incur a big loss" as Bangladesh exports apparel worth $ 3 billion is destined to the UK annually.
"UK market is very important for Bangladesh as 10 to 15 percent of total export to the country is done thorough air shipment," said the BGMEA president.
The UK government has suspended direct cargo flights from Dhaka citing inadequate security measures at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA).
The BGMEA requested the government to take immediate security and other measures within March 31 for the HSIA as per the action plan suggested by the UK.
A web post on the UK government's website on March 8 said, "As part of a set of interim measures, cargo will not be allowed on direct flights from Dhaka to the UK until further notice."
Their recent assessments of the Shahjalal airport found that some international security requirements were not being met, it added.
"Airlines carrying cargo between Bangladesh and the UK on indirect routes are being asked to ensure it is re-screened before its final leg into the UK," read the post.
On December 19 last year, Australia banned air cargo from Bangladesh, citing identical reason.
In the first seven month of the current fiscal year, Bangladesh earned about $2 billion, which is 12.42 per cent of total export of clothing products.
In the last fiscal year, Bangladesh exported RMG products of $3 billion, which is 11.39 per cent of total export. This year has also seen a growth by 11.76 per cent.