Expressing deep concern over the outbreak of 'Novel Coronavirus', the country's readymade garments (RMG) accessories manufacturers on Saturday expressed the fear that they would lose around Tk 15 billion if the current situation continues for several more months.
They requested the government to consider, in advance, providing them with a loan facility at a nominal or zero-interest rate to cope with the setback.
Bangladesh Garments Accessories & Packaging Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) came up with the demand at a press conference at a city hotel, said a statement.
President of the trade body Md. Abdul Kader Khan said the sector imports raw materials worth around US$ 4.0 billion every year from different countries, 40 per cent of which is brought from China.
"Due to the virus outbreak in China, disruption in the supply chain could continue for several more months," he said, adding the sector would have to count a financial loss worth Tk 14 billion to Tk 15 billion.
Mr. Khan also said that the trade body members were looking for new sourcing countries.
Though there has been no coronavirus case detected in Bangladesh so far, the country's economy is now likely to face an adverse impact because it maintains a close trade relation with China.
"As the Chinese authorities have extended their lunar New Year vacation in two phases, the supply chain is facing a setback," he said.
He added that Bangladesh largely depends on China for yarn, chemical, thermo plastic moulding compound (TPMC) etc.
He urged the government to take all necessary measures to facilitate unloading the imported raw materials, when the activities resume in China after the holiday.
Adviser to the BGAPMEA Rafez Alam Chowdhury and other office bearers were present at the conference.
Some 1,744 members are affiliated with the BGAPMEA, who manufacture 35 categories of accessories and packaging materials. They sell their merchandise as deemed exports as well as direct export.
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