Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has threatened British retail company Edinburgh Woollen Mill that it would restrict the company’s business in Bangladesh for not complying with the country’s rules and regulations.
BGMEA president Rubana Huq on Thursday in a notice warned Philip Edward Day, the CEO and owner of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, to settle the payment for the goods shipped before March 25 by May 29 as per the original agreed terms of payment.
In the notice, BGMEA informed EWM that the negotiations between the exporter and the buyer should be concluded for already placed orders within June 5 and all the negotiations must be mutual and not unilateral by the buyer.
BGMEA also said that deferred shipment, deferred payment and permitted discounts might be allowed provided the exporters and the buyers had come to an agreement in this regard in compliance with the local laws and regulations.
Any discount beyond the permissible limits may lead to adverse and legal consequences on EWM, including all its affiliates and associates, Rubana cautioned.
Until the above issues are settled and agreed, the association will not issue any new Utilisation Declarations to its members for any order of EWM, which includes all its affiliates and associates, the notice said.
‘In the event that the instructions provided herein above are not followed, we will have no option but to take the decision to place an embargo and black-list the buyers and their agents who do not comply with our instructions, which will prevent them from conducting business with our members in the future either directly and indirectly,’ the BGMEA president warned.
In light of the given circumstances, BGMEA and BKMEA, upon fully taking into consideration the predicaments of both the exporters, the buyers and the local laws and regulations of Bangladesh, have taken the certain decisions with regard to the alleged claim for discounts of EWM, she said.
According to the BGMEA data, EWM has so far cancelled orders worth $8.22 million in five factories.
Rubana said that it had unfortunately come to our attention that certain buyers were taking undue advantage of the COVID-19 situation and demanding unreasonable discounts despite concluded contracts pre-COVID-19 and despite continued business activities.
‘Which were not only impossible to grant by our members, but also in violation of local laws, international acceptable standards, and moreover defy all the principles of ethical sourcing and governance that international brands and organizations expect of the industry and all its stakeholders,’ the notice said.
‘Unfortunately, you, the notice recipients, are amongst those who are claiming such discounts from the members, which has been brought to our notice,’ BGMEA president said.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Foreign affairs