The country's garment accessories and packaging sector is now having a tough time in the backdrop of declining export earnings, said the leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Accessories & Packaging Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGAPMEA).
They said that more than one hundred such businesses or backward-linkage industries were shut down either permanently or temporarily in the last few months due to dwindling demands from the buyers.
They were addressing a press conference at a city hotel on Monday ahead of the 'Garmentech Bangladesh 2020', a four-day trade show on apparel making, accessories, packaging and printing industries.
The 19th edition of the exposition begins tomorrow (Wednesday) at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB).
The BGAPMEA, Zakaria Trade & Fair International, ASK Trade & Exhibitions Private Limited are organising the event.
Highlighting the sector's role in operating the export-oriented business, the BGAPMEA leaders urged the government to provide them with different facilities, like that the other 'deemed exporters' are enjoying as defined in the national industrial policy and national export policy, including cash incentive and reduction in corporate tax.
The backward-linkage industry leaders also called for declaring the factories as bonded area, offering continuous bond privileges and creating scopes for them to participate in foreign trade shows under the government schemes.
Three other exhibitions - the '11th International Yarn & Fabrics Sourcing Fair', 11th edition of the 'GAP Expo-2020 International Garment Accessories' and the 'Packtech Bangladesh 2020' will be simultaneously held at the same venue.
Briefing the media, BGAPMEA President Abdul Kader Khan said the sector is capable of meeting 95 per cent demands for garments accessories and packaging in the country.
The sector earned US $7.12 billion in the last financial year as 'deemed export', he said, noting that the accessories makers also fetch foreign currencies through direct export.
Despite a playing crucial role for export-oriented businesses, the sector is not getting benefits like cash incentive and a cut in corporate tax, which they deserve, Mr Khan mentioned.
Responding to a question, Rafez Alam Chowdhury, an advisor to the BGAPMEA, said the garment accessories sector is directly affected by the negative growth trend in apparel export, as other sectors.
"The sector's growth is estimated to be over negative 6.0 per cent averaging the last two quarters statistics," he pointed out, adding despite increase in the volume the sector is getting less value due to the dullness.
According to data available with the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country's export earnings fell by 5.84 per cent during the first half of fiscal year 2019-20.
Total export earnings from July to December of FY '20 reached $19.30 billion against $20.49 billion in the same period of the last year.
Managing Director of the ASK Trade Tipu Sultan Bhuyian and its director Nanda Gopal attended the briefing, among others.
According to the organisers, the exposition will remain open from 11:00am to 7:00pm every day for the visitors without any entry fee.
Around 450 companies from more than 24 countries including India, China, Malaysia, South Korea and Germany will take part in the event to showcase the latest technology, products and services related to apparel manufacturing, yarn, fabrics, accessories, packaging and printing at one place.
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