The readymade garment industry has urged the government to fix a separate exchange rate for Taka against the Dollar to keep up with competition in the international market.
Md Atiqul Islam, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, made the demand on Sunday from a press conference organised ahead of Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition.
He also claimed Bangladesh received fewer orders than before in the last two months as many buyers were moving away to India and Vietnam.
“India’s readymade garment manufacturers can easily accept order now as the value of Rupee against Dollar has depreciated. On the other hand, our Taka has gained. This development has set us back in the competition,” said Atiqul.
“The value of Rupee has gone down by 32 percent. Taka’s value has increased by 5 percent. It means India is 37 percent ahead compared to us in the competition.”
He demanded a separate exchange rate for the apparel sector to narrow the difference between the cost of importing raw materials for export and the actual export rate.
Former BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedi agreed.
“Bangladesh’s readymade garment is becoming less able to compete in the international market for many reasons. A fresh blow is the neighbouring country’s inflation.”
“An alternative arrangement has to be made for the sake of the industry.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the largest exhibition of the country’s apparel products on Oct 10. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia will attend the concluding ceremony on Oct 12.
As many as 80 stalls, including those from buyers like US, UK, Canada, Middle East, Hong Kong, Thailand, China, India and Pakistan, will be installed in this year’s exhibition.
Three seminars will also be organised on the achievement of this industry, the problem it is facing and the potentials it has during the three-day event.
The BGMEA is pinning hopes on the exhibition to see a rise on spot orders.
Last year’s BATEXPO brought spot orders worth $60.25 million. The exporters also received stock-lot spot order of $1.42 million.