Rubel Rana

2018-08-07 10:31:35 BdST

BGMEA fears shipment slowdown


Student demonstration and transport disruption, which partly halted movement of goods-laden trucks, have affected shipments of apparel items, exporters said yesterday.

Not only has there been a slowdown in shipments but also suspensions of trips of some important buyers to Dhaka who were scheduled to place work orders, said Siddiqur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), at a press conference at its office in Dhaka.

Rahman, however, could not exactly state the number of trips suspended, of shipments that could not be made from the port and of trucks stopped from reaching the Chittagong port.

“The most important loss from the demonstration and transport strike is the loss of image of the country as many buyers are asking us about the situation of the country,” said Rahman.

The BGMEA chief fears a massive loss of business if the demonstration continues for a long time.

Movement of exports and imports over the Dhaka-Chittagong highways has been hampered over the last past week for different reasons and the demonstration and transport strike compounded the woes of goods-laden trucks, he said.

Rahman said the BGMEA expressed solidarity with the movement of young students as they taught the nation a lesson on morality in everyday life.

“We are noticing that normalcy in transport is yet to be restored although it has started returning in people's lives,” he said.

An adequate number of transport vehicles are not plying the roads, he said, adding that such a chaotic situation also brought a lot of suffering for people.

If the goods cannot be transported on time, factory owners will have to face order cancellations, offer discounts to buyers or go for expensive air shipments to maintain strict lead times, Rahman added.

“We are passing through a very difficult time as competing countries are performing well in the global apparel markets. So in such times we need a peaceful and business-friendly environment,” Rahman said.

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