The country’s garment accessories manufacturers fear that they would be hit by losses worth an estimated Tk 1,500 crore if the coronavirus outbreak in China lingers as the sector is already running short of raw materials.
‘We fear that the supply of raw materials from China will remain suspended till March for the outbreak which would create a serious crisis in the garment accessories and packaging sector as we need raw materials worth $4 billion per year and 40 per cent of that comes from China,’ Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Abdul Kader Khan said on Saturday.
Kader made the remarks at a press conference hosted by the BGAPMEA held on the impact of the virus outbreak on the sector at La Vinci Hotel in the capital.
During the press conference, the BGAPMEA demanded policy support from the government as the exporters looked for alternative sources of raw materials to avoid a supply chain disruption.
The leaders of the trade body said that a total of 35 garment accessories and packaging items were being produced in around 1,744 factories across the country.
After meeting 95 per cent of the local demand, the sector earned a few billions from direct export.
The BGAPMEA president said if the epidemic prevailed in China for six months, the garment accessories manufacturing sector in Bangladesh would incur losses of around Tk 1,500 crore as they would have to pay workers’ wages and utilities service charges amid the shutdown of production.
The trade body also urged the government to make early preparations for allowing interest-free loans for the sector in the event of prolongation of the outbreak.
BGAPMEA adviser Rafez Alam Chowdhury and vice-presidents Mozaharul Haque Shahid and Monir Uddin Ahmed, among others, attended the briefing.
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