Earlier this week, the BGMEA held a press conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh over concerns that international apparel brands were either delaying or cancelling orders in apparel factories due to the global economic slump.

In an interview with Bangladesh news publication, The Daily Star, the BGMEA said the major reason for the delays and cancellations is brands are hesitant about placing new orders due to the amount of unsold garments and products still in their stores from previous seasons.

The looming global recession and cost of living crisis was also cited as reasons for concern as it means the price of basic necessities has risen for consumers so they are wary about spending on non-essential items, such as apparel.

He made the point however that garment exports to Europe, Bangladesh’s biggest export destination, rose 42% year-on-year in the January-October period of 2022 and to the US it posted an over 50% year-on-year rise.

The Daily Star reported that BGMEA president Faruque Hassan also highlighted a theft issue with export bound cargo trucks on the Dhaka-Chattogram highways.

He told the news publication that if necessary the law should be amended to make tough provision to punish the thieves who are involved in robberies of goods laden cargoes on the highways as such incidents downgrade the image of the country and the sector to the international communities.

Hassan added: “The government should not be staggering gas and power prices as the recently hiked prices will create an extra burden on the cost of production to be competitive in the global markets.”

The BGMEA was unable to supply a comment to Just Style prior to going to press.

In the first week of January, the Exports Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh reported that ready-made garment exports stood at US$23bn for the July-December 2022-23 period versus US$20bn in the July-December 2021-22 period.

Bangladesh is the second largest importer of apparel in the world after China, boasting over 3,500 garment factories whose goods are sold to 167 countries.