Wednesday, November 21, 2018

US Ambassador Bernicat shares election worries with BGMEA

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-10-18 22:01:31 BdST

File Photo

The US believes the months leading up to the next election in Bangladesh may be marked by instability, keeping with earlier trends.

US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat sounded the warning during her meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association or BGMEA on Wednesday.

Bangladesh witnessed instability surrounding national elections several times in the past, she said. It is natural for foreign buyers to fear a repeat of such conditions and place their orders accordingly, said the US envoy.

BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman then assured her by saying that the people of Bangladesh were opposed to violence.

The run-up to the 2014 election, marked by shutdowns and blockades, had dented export earnings by garment businesses, Bangladesh's lifeline sector.

Over a hundred died in firebombing of vehicles by opposition activists who attempted to stop the election from taking place in January.

Siddiqur during the meeting hoped such conditions would not return before the election scheduled for 2019.

He then pointed out that Bangladeshi exports to US have decreased over time. Bernicat, in response, said the Chittagong Port should be modernised to increase self-capacity.

Buyers make detailed analysis to fix their sourcing which makes lead time, the period between the start and completion of production, crucial for Bangladesh, said Bernicat.