Bangladesh apparel exporters for 5pc cash incentive against dollars

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 06:05pm on December 10, 2019

The finance ministry will send four officials to India, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia to assess the feasibility of the demand made by the country’s readymade garments exporters for five per cent cash incentive against dollars they earn.

Finance ministry officials said that the officials, each of them whom would visit one country, were mainly tasked with assessing the measures taken by India, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia in providing incentives to their respective apparel sectors.

The officials, who belonged to the ranks of joint secretaries, are expected to leave the capital this week and will place their findings within a week after returning back to the country, said the ministry officials.

On Sunday, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Rubana Huq placed the demand for cash incentives against dollars at a meeting with finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal against the backdrop of falling export incomes for the last four consecutive months.

Commerce minister Tipu Munshi, who is a former president of BGMEA, was present at the meeting.

The decline in export income in the July-November period of FY20 compared to $15.77 billion from $17.07 billion in the same period of FY19 has been attributed to the negative performance of the RMG sector, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of the country’s annual export earnings.   

Industry experts blamed the fall in demand in the eurozone, the country’s main market for RMG products, and a slump in business competiveness of the sector for its sorry state.

Vietnam has matched Bangladesh at the second position as a leading international apparel exporter in terms of export value after Bangladesh lost its global market share in apparel exports by 0.1 percentage point to 6.4 per cent.

According to the World Trade Statistical Review 2019 recently released by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Bangladesh grabbed $32 billion in export earnings in 2018, which amounted to $29 billion in 2017.

On the other hand, Vietnam also grabbed $32 billion in 2018, which was $27 billion in the previous year when the total global apparel export market was worth $421 billion.

China still remains the top exporter of apparel products with earnings worth $158 billion. India’s market share has come down to 3.3 per cent from 4.1 per cent.