BGMEA new leaders vow to revive export, realise GSP plus facilities
Newly elected leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) vowed to continue production and exports amid the raging pandemic.
While talking to The Daily Observer they said efforts will be on to stay competitive even after the graduation of the country from the least developed country status.
Faruque Hassan, the leader of the Sammilita Parishad that won the majority posts of Directors in the recent election of the association, will soon take the charges of the President of the BGMEA.
He said: "Our main goal is to revive export earnings from readymade garment export as the sector has already incurred a huge loss in the ongoing and prolonged pandemic."
He said export earnings declined to more than $27 billion in the last fiscal year compared to $34 billion a year ago because of the massive drop in sales in the Western markets. According to Hassan, 2021 and 2022 would be challenging for the industry as many owners suffered in the last one year.
Hassan said, "I will try to address the challenges by establishing relations with government, buyers, diplomats and policy-makers."
He said they would suggest raising the export ceiling for SMEs from $5 million to $10 million to help more industries qualify for the loans under the stimulus packages and would talk with the government and the European Union so that Bangladesh can continue to enjoy duty-free access to the market until 2031, even after the graduation from the category of the least-developed countries in 2026.
Another elected leader in the recent held election Syed Nazrul Islam said, 'At this moment I don't want make any comment on pandemic hit industry as it is unpredictable there will it end."
He said but "We focus on the government policy in logistics supports mainly in customs, bonds and ports. We hope the government will act on reality basis of the rising crisis locally and internationally."
Mr Islam also a director of Chittagong based Well Designers said, "Product development and market diversification is our main vision."
He said to create a new market everyone in garment industry including newly elected leaders need to work to create new market and new destinations. For this an appropriate policy support is required he said and added market intelligent must be also created in the rising competition across the world.
Regarding post LDC status of Bangladesh he said, "We need to face it smartly and I hope we can make it as Bangladeshi exporters are expert in doing export without having own cotton, machinery and many others that many our competitors do have."
He said, "We do have a strong backward linkage industry and despite relaxation of two stage rules origin we are still in the leading exposition in the export market."
Besides he said, "We have already engaged lobbyists to get GSP plus facilities in the European market after expire of the existing GSP facilities one we are finally graduated to a developing country."
Mahmud Hasan Khan (Babu) anothrr newly elected leader in the BGMEA said, "We will work under new leadership for the overall betterment of this sector."
He said for getting GSP plus there some requirements to be fulfilled by Bangladesh and for both the government and RMG exporters can work together.