Apparel exporters have demanded the government to keep the RMG sectors open during the upcoming lockdown which will be enforced from 14 April to tackle the surge of Covid-19 in the country.
The government is likely to provide directives on the seven-day complete lockdown today.
Considering the impacts of restrictions in RMG sectors, leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) hold a joint press conference on Sunday.
In a written statement, BGMEA acting president Mohammad Abdus Salam urged the government to keep RMG sectors out of lockdown restrictions.
He said that the RMG sector has been proved to pose a minimum risk of infection as hygiene rules are followed in the factories.
At the press conference, he presented a summary of impacts that were experienced in the RMG sectors in the second wave of coronavirus.
According to the press note, the garments sector has reported continuous price drops of 4.5% to 5% since September last year.
Besides, the sector has reported export orders loss worth $6 billion in 2019-20 FY, while in the first nine months of the current fiscal year the loss was 9.5% compared to 2018-19 FY.
The press note said the woven fabric sector in the country has been largely incurring the heat of the global pandemic.
Due to lockdown measures since February 2020, the retail business of ready-made garments has sustained a negative trend, as Europe reported a 28% downfall and the US reported it to be 16%.
Many factories have incurred losses in the face of buyers and brands failing to pay the purchase order, while many did not get their shipped or stocked goods. This has caused businesses to walk the path of forced loans to meet their LC obligations, it reads.
The press note further said, the garments sector is a part of a supply chain, where production and shipment of purchase orders are premeditated. Therefore, imposing a stringent lockdown may deter the whole process.
Moreover, the industrial sector will have to take the burn if the supply chain is hampered, as it will cause disruption in ship traffic and container congestion at the Chattogram port.
Including the industry under lockdown measures also fan the fear of losing position in the highly competitive apparel market, said the press note.