Bangladesh minister blames apparel makers undercutting competitors for falling exports

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-11-06 21:22:39 BdST


Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has blamed the apparel makers undercutting their competitors in wanting to attract more buyers for the falling export earnings.

His comment came in response to several demands made by the leaders of the industry in a meeting at the Secretariat on Wednesday.

Amid falling RMG exports for a third consecutive month, they demanded reduced interest rates on bank loans, income tax withdrawal, cash incentives and easing of backlog in the ports to shore up the sector.

"The traders have a problem. It's their fault. They are not getting fair price because they themselves are undercutting the prices,” said the minister after the meeting.

Munshi, reminding that he himself is an apparel entrepreneur, said, “I know the problem. It is often seen that they have cut prices to get work orders. That has an impact on the total export earnings. ”

In the first four months of this fiscal year (July-October), the apparel exports dropped 6.67 percent year-on-year. The ready-made garment industry accounts for 85 percent of the total export earnings.

The commerce minister said he discussed with the RMG leaders their demands and the current state of the industry.

He admitted that a cargo-handling problem was challenging the businesses.

Tipu identified the interest rate as an important issue and said, “An elaborate discussion was made at the ECNEC meeting on how to reduce interest rate.”

The minister assured the businesses of taking their demands into consideration for staying competitive in the global market.

"I hope the assistance sought by the businesspeople will help increase our competitiveness once it is available to them."