Accord and Alliance conditions affecting RMG sector, say businessmen

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2015-04-13 01:19:19 BdST

File photo

Bangladeshi readymade garments have lost competitiveness for ‘several irrational conditions’ imposed by buyers of foreign countries, particularly those from Europe and North America, say businessmen.

They made the statement at a views-exchange meeting on the garment industry held in Dhaka on Sunday.

Bangladesh Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Atiqul Islam said: “The Accord and Alliance are big challenges for (Bangladesh’s) apparel industry.”

“We’re facing the challenges enduring huge sufferings. Even the buyers can now see what the situation of country’s 2,100 garment factories is. It’s a matter of pride,” he said.

Islam said Bangladeshi apparels lost their competitiveness in trying to fulfil ‘different conditions’ of the Accord and Alliance. “Additional bank rates have created more problems.”

The Bangladesh Accord Group created by retailers from the European Union and the Alliance of North American buyers evaluate compliance issues in Bangladesh's readymade garment industry.

Former BGMEA president Anwar-ul-Alam Chwodhury Parvez said Bangladesh has the potential to raise its readymade garment exports to $50 billion by 2021.

He believes raising a joint fund with Accord and Alliance could play an ‘effective role’ in Bangladesh touching the export target.

Another ex-BGMEA president, Siddiqur Rahman said: “Though there are no activities of the Accord and Alliance in any other part of the world, we’re cooperating with them for some special reasons.”

“But they are obstructing us by imposing some illogical conditions. On the other hand, the government is not cooperating with us to relocate factories outside Dhaka as per the conditions set by Accord and Alliance.”

The businessmen said the recent political unrest has ‘added to the challenges’ before the apparel industry.