Readymade garment buyers in some countries want to cancel orders they placed with Bangladeshi apparel exporters, and seek to refer those to other countries amid an adverse impact of coronavirus, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday.
The minister was addressing a discussion on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day at the conference room of the commerce ministry where he inaugurated the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection's hotline 16121.
While talking about the impact of coronavirus on businesses, he said, "The whole world is going through a tough time. The outbreak has also affected our country. The communications across the globe have been snapped."
"Under this situation, some countries want to cancel orders. I think we will face problems if it happens."
"I have come to know today [Sunday] morning that Italy wanted to cancel some of the existing export orders. The big problem is for not getting shipments of goods on time, the ultimate sellers either want to cancel orders or seek deliveries by planes," Tipu Munshi said.
Some 60 percent of raw materials for the country's apparel industry come from China but the import from the country has been going slow, he said.
"We also have to import 60 percent of raw materials for women entrepreneurs.
We have created awareness among workers in every apparel factory. In most factories, face masks and sanitisers and soaps for washing hands have been arranged."
No situation requiring shutdown of apparel factories has emerged yet, he added.
Meanwhile, after the inauguration of the National Consumer Rights Protection's hotline, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said any deprived consumers could get help dialling 16121.
"We don't want to enforce the Consumers' Right Protection Act to any person or organisation, but everyone has to be aware of it for establishing consumers' right so that no legal measure is required,"