News in Brief


 

 October 2015
 

  German help for RMG sector to continue: Muller
  Sweden for more diversified trade ties with Bangladesh
 
BTCCI seeks more Thai investment
  Use of jute bags mandatory after Oct 25 for packaging six goods
  High costs hit RMG owners to be compliance-friendly

  ILO, IFC assessing garment safety costs

  Garment village in Chittagong
  Ctg Port cargo handling gets pace after Eid

  Textile sector posts marginal loss

  Bangladesh emerges as denim powerhouse
  ILO launches initiative to improve workplace rights in RMG sector
  Bangladesh fulfilled all requirements to get back GSP: Tofail

  Siddiqur Rahman new president of BGMEA
  BGMEA training youths of erstwhile enclaves

  Cash incentives for exporters to be reviewed: Muhith

  PUF for immediate construction of Bay Terminal

  Significant increase in BD RMG workers' response, awareness

  BD fashion design seminar held in Tashkent
  Multiple uses of jute products increasing
  Iran eager to expand cooperation with Bangladesh

  “US denial of GSP facility to BD not acceptable”

  Buyers bag $69m orders for garment equipment

  PM wants int'l buyers of BD RMG products to raise prices
  US to help BGMEA reach $50b export by 2021: Ms. Bernicat
  2.76m tonnes of RMG exported through Ctg Port last fiscal
 

 

German help for RMG sector to continue: Muller

Expressing satisfaction over the progress in Bangladesh's garment sector, visiting German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation Dr. Gerd Muller on Wednesday assured that his country would continue assistance for further development of the sector."We are satisfied over the progress made so far in Bangladesh's textile sector and we want to continue help develop the sector," he said. The German minister came up with the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official Ganobhaban residence in the capital, a news agency report said. While talking about the issue of the RMG sector with the German minister, the Prime Minister spelled out her government steps for the development of the sector including over 200 percent wage hike of the RMG workers since 2009 and ensuring their safety and security. In this connection, Sheikh Hasina urged the foreign buyers to increase the price of the apparel products and said this money would be spent for the welfare of the garment workers. Dr. Gerd Muller highly praised Bangladesh's impressive success in different sectors and said Bangladesh is a favourite partner of Germany.

 

In this regard, Sheikh Hasina said the policy of her party is to promote workers and farmers. The German minister put emphasis on expanding cooperation in energy and leather sectors between the two countries.

 

Source: The Financial Express (7 Oct, 2015)

 

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Sweden for more diversified trade ties with Bangladesh

Swedish Ambassador in Dhaka Johan Frisell has said his country wants to further diversify trade relations between the two countries to the benefit of people from both Bangladesh and Sweden. The Swedish Ambassador said this while making a presentation on Bangladesh-Sweden relations at a function in the city arranged for members of that Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) on Sunday night. First secretary (Political and Commercial Affairs) Mia Hallen and first secretary (development cooperation) Marcela Lizana Bobadilla and other officials of the Embassy were present. The Ambassador described various aspects of the bilateral relations and prospects of strengthening relations in new areas of cooperation. On trade flow, Johan Frisell said he is here to boost trade flows in both directions, from Bangladesh to Sweden and from Sweden to Bangladesh. He also described the cooperation in Bangladesh's health, education and women's empowerment and laid emphasis on making the achievements sustainable. The Ambassador also highlighted activities of SIDA - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency which is encouraged to develop and apply innovative forms of cooperation and financing, including results-based aid.

Source: The Financial Express (5 Oct, 2015)

 

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BTCCI seeks more Thai investment

 

BTCCI President Sajjatuz Jumma handed over a crest to the departing ambassador of Thailand to Bangladesh Madurapochana Ittarong at a farewell programme held Saturday in the city.

 

 

Bangladesh Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTCCI) president sought more Thai investment by enhancing bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and Thailand. BTCCI President Sajjatuz Jumma came up with the call at the farewell ceremony of departing Thai Ambassador to Bangladesh Madurapochana Ittarong  held at a city hotel on Saturday. Mr Jumma said that Bangladesh and Thailand are tested friends.  The departing Thai Ambassador appreciated BTCCI to promote and develop trade, investment and industry between Bangladesh and Thailand. She assured her continued efforts to work for increasing investment in collaboration with Thai BOI and Bangladesh BOI and also with BTCCI. She said that Thailand has been maintaining good relations with Bangladesh over the years, adding that more cooperation between the private companies of the two countries would obviously boost bilateral trade. Ms Ittarong said that many Thai companies are interested to invest in the infrastructure development in Bangladesh.

 

Source: The Financial Express (05 Oct, 2015)

 

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Use of jute bags mandatory after Oct 25 for packaging six goods

State Minister for Textile and Jute MirzaAzam has called for strictly following the Jute Packaging Act 2010 and said the use of jute bags would be mandatory after October 25this year for packaging six essential goods, reports BSS. "The government would ensure compulsory use of jute bags for packaging essentials goods like paddy, rice, wheat, maize, fertilizer and sugar instead of plastic bags," he said while inaugurating a fair of diversified jute goods in Jamalpur yesterday.


The State Minister made it clear that any violation of this act would not be tolerated for the sake of the survival of the jute sector as well as the livelihood of the jute growers in the country. Around 400 million pieces of jute bags and sacks would be required annually for packaging six essential products, said the state minister, adding, "BJMC would be able to provide half of the total requirement while the private jute mills would meet rest of the demand".The Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC) under the Ministry of Textile and Jute organised the fair in collaboration with the district administration. "Our jute industry and the livelihood of jute growers depend on the implementation of this act," he said. Mirza Azam said exports of jute and jute goods were declining due mainly to reasons like world economic recession, political instability, conspiracies at home and abroad and also trade competition. "So, there is no alternative to increasing local use of jute and jute goods," he said. Following the enactment of the Jute Packaging Act in October 2010 to boost domestic use of jute bags instead of synthetic ones, Mirza Azam said the government made the act effective from January 2014 for primarily packaging six essential products, but its implementation has been violated on various excuses to subtly destroy the country's jute sector.

 

Source: The Financial Express (4 Oct, 2015)

 

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High costs hit RMG owners to be compliance-friendly

 

Country's garment sector and its allied business partners are now determined to create awareness among the stakeholders to brighten the image of the sector, the main export earners. "Recently, training program on health and safety were carried out in garment factories funded by International Training Centre-International Labor Organization (ITC-ILO) and organized by Bangladesh Employers Association, BGMEA and BKMEA. The first training was carried out at Posmi Sweaters premises earlier in August," said Md. Moshiul Azam Shajal, Director at BGMEA and Managing Director of Posmi Sweaters Ltd. He further said "We are regularly holding training programs to create awareness. But the cost is rising absurdly high. To renovate one of my factories accommodating full compliance, the cost shoots up to approximately BDT 50 million. We need to get accommodated one way or the other. Decrease in bank interest rate or reduction of oil and gas price will help us balance the cost." The United States has renewed trade preferences for 122 nations around the world, but Bangladesh has been excluded from the list. Specialists say that the exclusion will hamper the garments sector badly to fulfill the target of fetching USD 50 billion export by 2021. "The export to the US contributed to only 0.5 per cent of Bangladesh's export. It will not directly affect the overall quantity," according to an analysis on RMG sector.

 

Source: The Financial Express (3 Oct, 2015)

 

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ILO, IFC assessing garment safety costs

 

The International Labor Organization (ILO) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have started calculating the possible costs required for the remediation of small and medium-scale apparel units in Bangladesh. The joint-exercise, launched last month, is part of the plan to help secure funds from different sources, officials said. They expect a preliminary report at the end of this month and the final report by the end of this year, which can come up with recommendations and possible course of action. The move came at a time when the two western retailers' groups had expressed their concern over slow progress in remediation, which the manufacturers attributed to fund crisis that has delayed fixing the problems in line with the corrective action plan (CAP). The program, known as remediation, started last year after the completion of initial inspections by the western retailers and around 3,000 garment factories have so far been assessed under the three initiatives-Accord, Alliance and the national initiative.   ILO and IFC are jointly undertaking a study looking at existing and planned mechanisms for remediation financing targeted mainly at smaller and medium garment factories, said Tuomo Poutiainen, Program Manager of the ILO Improving Working Conditions in the RMG sector project. "The aim is to help meet the needs of these factories (whether they are under the Accord, Alliance or national initiative) to gain access to funding so that they can carry out necessary remediation work," he said.

 

Source: The Financial Express (2 Oct, 2015)

 

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Garment village in Chittagong

Although the issue is yet to figure in the government's agenda, setting up a garment village in the port city of Chittagong merits all the support it needs. In fact, it is a necessity given the urgency of restructuring the entire readymade garment (RMG) sector with required facilities in view of the emerging challenges as well as the $50 billion export target set by the sector itself. More so, the facilities that the port city is potentially capable of offering far outdo and outpace those in any other part of the country, Dhaka included. The issue came up strongly at a recent roundtable titled 'Realizing US$ 50 billion target for the RMG sector: The Chittagong Mission' organized jointly by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Chittagong Research Institute (CRI) in Chittagong recently. Speakers at the event, while highlighting the potential of Chittagong as a manufacturing and export hub of apparels, suggested improvements in a number of areas in order for the hub to deliver accordingly. As the country's main port city, it is Chittagong, which should have prevailed as the prime location for export of apparels, especially in view of the intricacies involved in the back-to-back letters of credit (LC) system. Importing raw materials against back-to-back LCs and exporting finished materials - an unusual dual procedure on which the country's export of apparels has grown and is still prevalent - can be better handled if the manufacturing units are located close-by rather than having to operate from as far a location as Dhaka and its adjoining areas where most of the apparel factories are housed. This has not happened with a resultant impact on the slowing down of apparel exports from the Chittagong-based factories. This is amply manifest from the drastic reduction in the contribution by Chittagong-based garment entrepreneurs to the national economy from 40 per cent to as little as 11 per cent, according to an estimate revealed at the roundtable. This indeed has reasons to sound a note of concern as in most countries, particularly those in this region; it is the port cities that add prosperity to the national economies.
 

Source: The Financial Express (2 Oct, 2015)

 

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Ctg Port cargo handling gets pace after Eid

Container congestion takes place

 

Delivery of imported goods from Chittagong Port and its cargo handling activities are getting momentum after the Eid-ul-Azha vacation.

 

 Chittagong Port's traffic department officials said 1,739 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of container were delivered from the port till 8.00 am on Tuesday, while it was 1,187 TEUs on Monday, 354 TEUs on Sunday, and 299 TEUs on Saturday. The port officials hoped that delivery of containerized cargo would exceed 2,200 TEUs by the weekend. In normal times the volume of delivered cargo in the port is 2,500-3,000 TEUs a day. Before the Eid vacation it was 2,791 TEUs on September 21 and 3,282 TEUs on September 22. The officials said the pace of cargo delivery from the port got slow during the Eid vacation. Lower volume of RMG (ready-made garment) raw-materials was delivered from the port, as the factories remained closed for five to six days on account of the Eid vacation. Operational activities in the port were suspended for the first two shifts on the Eid Day, and the workers started their work in the third shift. The prime maritime port's container handling activities also returned to normalcy after the vacation. However, the port is experiencing container congestion. As against the capacity of 26,857 TEUs of imported containers, the port yards were jammed with a total of 28,328 TEUs on Tuesday, according to port statistics. On the other hand, there were only 700 export containers in the port on the day against its holding capacity of 4,000 containers. The number of empty containers came down to 2,003 TEUs.

 

Source: The Financial Express (30 Sep, 2015)

 

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Sector-wise focus

Textile sector posts marginal loss

 

The textile sector posted marginal loss Monday as 21 issues of the sector moved down, 13 closed in green, five remained unchanged and two were not traded out of 41. Textile sector companies include spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing, and zipper manufacturing, as well as readymade garments manufacturing units. The textile sector accounted for 5.5 per cent of the day's total turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) worth of Tk 3.95 billion on Monday.  Zahintex Industries of the sector featured in the top ten loser list, losing 3.8 per cent on the day. Each share of the company closed at Tk 22.9. Meanwhile, profits in most of the listed textiles companies tumbled in the first-half (January-June) of the year compared to the year-ago period, as political turmoil and depreciation of the euro hurt earnings. Of the 41 listed companies in the textile sector in the Dhaka bourse, nearly one-third disclosed their un-audited half-yearly reports. Among them, consolidated profits (un-audited) of nine companies declined, six showed marginal profits while 26 are yet to publish half-yearly financial reports as they consider June and September to be year ending. The poor performance of the companies was attributed to slowdown in export growth in the US and the EU markets, which weighed on the export earnings of textile makers, market insiders said. The companies whose profits rose are Shasha Denims, CMC Kamal, Generation Next Fashion, Sonargoan Textile, Zaheen Spinning and Envoy Textile in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year.

 

Source: The Financial Express (29 Sep, 2015)

 

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Bangladesh emerges as denim powerhouse
Overtakes China, Turkey in H1 shipment to EU

Denim exports to the European Union recorded a double-digit growth in the first half of the year, helping the country elbow out Turkey and China in the 27-nation regional market, industry insiders said. Bangladesh shipped denim products, especially trousers, worth euro 529.53 million to the EU during January to June of 2015 marking a 23 per cent growth compared to the same period last year, the BGMEA data based on Eurostat showed. The country fetched euro 932.86 million in shipments from the EU in 2014 marking a 15.53 per cent growth, it showed. But the sub-sector failed to keep the same pace in the United States as earnings from the market witnessed a negative growth during the period, they said. During the period, the EU imported denim products of euro 2.18 billion from the world market, which was euro 1.92 billion in January to June of 2014.The gradual decline in China's exports to the US and the EU has opened up the opportunities for other competitors including Bangladesh, industry insiders said."The growth in the EU is mainly because Bangladesh enjoys duty-free facility there, while locally-made denim products including other apparel items do not get the duty-free benefit in the US market," Mostafiz Uddin managing director of Denim Expert Ltd told the FE. Bangladesh mainly produces low-end denim products, particularly five-pocket denim jeans, while the competing countries produce high-value-added products, Md Shahidullah Azim, former vice president of the BGMEA said."Now we are the largest denim exporter in the EU as we offer quality products at a competitive rate, while also have good records of delivery on time," he said, adding that Bangladesh has established its capacity in this segment and now needs to focus further on value-added products.

 

Source: The Financial Express (29 Sep, 2015)

 

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ILO launches initiative to improve workplace rights in RMG sector

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has launched a new initiative for improving workplace rights and industrial relations in the readymade garment (RMG) sector of the country, reports UNB. Sweden will provide funding worth US$5.4 million to the initiative titled, 'Promoting Social Dialogue and Harmonious Industrial Relations in the Bangladesh Ready-Made Garment Industry', which will run from November 2015 to December 2020.An agreement to launch the project was signed in New York on Saturday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin, ILO Director General Guy Ryder and Secretary of the Bangladesh Ministry of Labor and Employment Mikail Shipar signed the agreement for their respective countries and organization.

 


Source: The Financial Express (28 Sep, 2015)

 

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Bangladesh fulfilled all requirements to get back GSP: Tofail

 

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Wednesday said Bangladesh has fulfilled all the requirements to get back the GSP facilities in US market.

 

"Bangladesh has met all the conditions possible for it. Visiting USTR team has become satisfied with the initiatives of ensuring factory safety and labor rights. So, there is no bar to get back the GSP in US market," he said while meeting with the eight-member delegation of United States Trade Representative (USTR), led by its assistant for South and Central Asia Michael J Delaney, at his secretariat office in the capital. In the meeting, implementation of action plan set by US and issues of mutual interest were discussed, a BSS report said. Tofail Ahmed said the United States did not give GSP facilities to Bangladesh's RMG. The US used to give GSP facilities to some items like tobacco, plastic and ceramic, etc, the volume of which will not be more than $23 million US Dollars, he said. Tofail said, "The issue of GSP is a matter of image crisis for the country and not much of financial losses."

 

Source: The Financial Express (23 Sep, 2015)

 

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Siddiqur Rahman new president of BGMEA

New president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Siddiqur Rahman, took over the charges on Tuesday. Former BGMEA president Atiqul Islam handed over the charge to Siddiqur Rahman, Sterling Denims Ltd managing director, after announcing the 35-member committee in the 32nd general meeting of the apex body of Bangladesh's RMG sector. Siddiqur Rahman will remain atop the BGMEA for the next two years. Among the 35 members, 7 were selected as vice-presidents of the organisation. A 158-page roadmap book with directives for the next two years was also handed over to the new committee, according to a news agency.
 

 

Source: The Financial Express (22 Sep, 2015)

 

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BGMEA training youths of erstwhile enclaves

 

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) launched a month-long training course for 30 male and female youths of the erstwhile enclaves in Panchagarh district town on Thursday.

 

The free training is being imparted on 'Sweater Knitting and Linking Machine Operation at the Training Centre of Panchagarh Youth Development Office with a view to making the youths skilled human resources. The BGMEA in association with the Youth Development Department is organizing the training course and the process will continue for the erstwhile socioeconomically backward enclave people to speed up their development. The training course is aimed at appointing all of the unemployed 30 male and female trainee youths in the country's export-oriented readymade garment (RMG) sector in Dhaka as skilled human resources after completion of their training course. Expert trainers of BGMEA Ali Hassan and Sohrab Hossain are conducting the course. Highly lauding the BGMEA initiative, the speakers put maximum emphasis on skill development of the unemployed male and female youths of the erstwhile enclaves through combined efforts of all concerned to pave their way for employment.

 

 

Source: BSS (18 Sep, 2015)

 

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Cash incentives for exporters to be reviewed: Muhith

 

Finance Minister AMA said Saturday the government would soon review the entire cash incentive package for the exporters and make a few more export items eligible for the benefit. Mr. Muhith also laid emphasis on diversification of both export products and destinations, particularly in Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. Speaking at a discussion meeting on "3rd Front of Bangladesh Export Destination - Russia and other CIS countries" at a local hotel on Saturday as the chief guest, he assured the exporters of the government's all out support in establishing a warehouse at a suitable location in the CIS countries.  "We have good relations with these countries but we have failed to utilize our export potentialities due to lack of initiatives," he added. The finance minister also urged the entrepreneurs to reduce their dependence on textile sector that fetches about 81 per cent of the country's total export earning, and put emphasis on diversification of both export products and markets. "The government spends a total of Tk 35 billion, including Tk 20 billion in RMG sector, as cash incentives," said the minister urging the entrepreneurs to export products that have greater value addition. The government, the finance minister said, will soon review the overall cash incentive situation and include some new items, especially the non-traditional export items having huge market potentials. He maintained that Bangladesh leather; toys and plastics goods had great potential in foreign markets. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, who attended the program as the special guest, also highlighted the urgency for extending cash incentives to help diversification of the country's export base and markets. "There will be no foreign investment, unless the local investors are provided with utilities such as gas, electricity and other incentives to promote local products.  "To raise the RMG export to US$ 50 billion and the country's total export to US$ 60 billion by the year 2021 there is no alternative to extending cash incentives and promoting items like pharmaceuticals, leather, furniture, ship-building, plastic goods etc," Tofail said. He also demanded cash incentives to compensate the losses incurred by exporters due to huge devaluation of Russian Ruble. Regarding export to CIS market, he said, Bangladesh's trade with Russia and other CIS countries is not up to the expected level mainly due to problems in opening of letters of credit (LCs) and other banking facilities. He is of the opinion that the country should overcome some obstacles to expansion of business with these countries, which include complexity in banking clearance, long lead-time and long sea route. According to sources, Bangladesh exported goods worth US$ 796 million and $ 721 million to the CIS countries in 2014 and 2013 respectively. But speakers at the meeting said, trade between Bangladesh and CIS countries can go up to US$ 10 billion by the 2020 if necessary steps are taken immediately. According to them, India has a plan to export US$ 20 billion and Vietnam US$ 10 billion by 2020 to these countries.

 

Source: The Financial Express (13 Sep, 2015)

 

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PUF for immediate construction of Bay Terminal

 

The Chittagong port will fail to cope with the enhanced export-import growth by 2020 if the port authority does not take initiatives right now to build the proposed Bay Terminal. Port experts are of the opinion that Chittagong will have to handle 2.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers by that time but the port lacks facilities needed for the purpose. "Not only that, the Chittagong port will turn into the second port of the country by 2043 if its cargo handling capacity is not enhanced further, at least with the undertaking of construction of the Bay Terminal," said Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) board member Zafar Alam. "It is time to take decision on the part of the authorities concerned whether there will the Bay Terminal or the Smart City as proposed by Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) on the coast of the Bay of Bengal," he said. The CPA board member further said that the port will also have to undertake construction of the Bulk Terminal at Laldiarchar of Patenga to meet the growing demand. The meeting discussed matters relating to quick assessment and prompt delivery of import goods, documentation charges, administrative charges, cleaning charges and other illogical charges claimed by different shipping agents and freight forwarders.

 

Source: The Financial Express (13 Sep, 2015)

 

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Alliance report on detection of fire hazards

Significant increase in BD RMG workers' response, awareness

 

The response and awareness relating to detection of fire hazards in Bangladesh's garment factory workers has increased significantly over a couple of years, according to the latest report of the Alliance. University of Texas-Houston, in cooperation with Dhaka University, conducted an in-depth impact assessment of Alliance's training methods to measure their effectiveness and suggest improvements. The assessment involved targeted surveys of 4,591 workers, as well as focus group discussions in which 220 workers offered additional perspectives on health and safety within their factories. "In the impact assessment, 45 per cent of workers correctly recognized all fire hazards - a significant improvement over the baseline which was only 2.0 per cent in the baseline assessment conducted last year," said the second annual report that was launched on Tuesday and is also available on its official website.

 

The assessment found that knowledge and awareness on fire safety had improved among the workers after participating in the Alliance training, it said adding that following the training, workers had a much better understanding of fire hazards and their roles in emergencies and evacuations. The goal of the assessment was to evaluate whether the Alliance's training activities were achieving the stated objectives. The results were compared with a baseline study that was conducted one year before these training initiatives were undertaken.

 

Source: The Financial Express (10 Sep, 2015)

 

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BD fashion design seminar held in Tashkent

Bangladesh Embassy in Tashkent in collaboration with Unescoorganized a seminar titled 'Bangladeshi Fashion Design' at the Embassy Chancery on Wednesday. Addressing the function, Bangladesh Ambassador Mosud Mannansaid the seminar will help many local fashion designers who are already established and for young starters to learn from Bibi Russell's success history, and inspire them to seek new opportunities and creative ideas. He also discussed about the purpose of organizing the seminar and noted importance of cultural collaboration between the two countries in modern spheres like fashion, clothing and textile. In her speech, head of Unesco office in Tashkent, Krista Pikkat, mentioned about the importance of developing fashion and textile in Uzbekistan, according to a news agency.
 

 

Source: The Financial Express (09 Sep, 2015)

 

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Multiple uses of jute products increasing

 

RANGPUR: Experts at a views-sharing meeting here have stressed for making the various steps taken by the government, in reviving past glory of the eco-friendly 'golden' fiber jute, successful. They were addressing the daylong regional views-sharing meeting organized by the Directorate of Jute under the Ministry of Jute and Textile at the conference room of Rangpur Zila . The meeting was arranged under the 'High Yielding Jute and Jute Seed Production and Improved Jute Retting Project' of the Ministry of Jute and Textiles for high officials of the Directorate of Jute of Rangpur, Dinajpur and Bogra Regions.

 

Project Director (Joint Secretary) of the Directorate of Jute Dr Sheikh Muhammad Rezaul Islam attended the meeting as the chief guest and narrated various government steps taken for reviving the past glory of jute with directions for proper implementation. The speakers said that the multiple uses of jute products has been increasing following adverse effects of synthetic fiber on environment throughout the world ushering a new hope for revival of the past glory of the 'golden' fiber. They discussed various steps taken for increasing production of quality jute seed and jute, promoting jute sector, introduction of the low-cost ribbon retting method of the fiber during water scarcity to improve quality and grade for ensuring better market prices. Demand for jute has been increasing faster globally as the fiber is also being used as construction materials for earthquake surviving houses, embankments, geo-textiles and bodies of cars and Bangladesh can meet its growing global demand, they said.

 

Source: BSS (07 Sep, 2015)

 

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Iran eager to expand cooperation with Bangladesh

 

Iran is eager to expand cooperation with Bangladesh in many areas, especially in energy sector, following the lifting of ban imposed on Iran by world powers.

Tehran's cooperation in Bangladesh's energy sector and its investment in the country's agriculture, jute and RMG sectors would be increased following gradual lifting of ban on Iran by the world powers, said Iranian Ambassador Abbas Vaezi . The envoy while exchanging views with diplomatic correspondents of Bangladesh also expressed eagerness to export crude oil to Bangladesh after necessary renovation and increasing capacity of oil refinery in Chittagong. Diplomatic Correspondent Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) organized the event at Jatiya Press Club in the capital. Referring to the tri-nation gas pipeline that will supply gas to India via Pakistan, the envoy said if Bangladesh wishes, the pipeline can be expanded up to Bangladesh as part of further expanding energy cooperation with the country. These issues would be discussed with Bangladesh State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid when he will visit Iran this year, he added. During the talks, the envoy focused on Bangladesh's historic relations with Iran, existing bilateral ties, how Iran can import readymade garment products directly from Bangladesh and recruitment of Bangladeshi manpower for Iran's construction sector. He said the two countries can also sign a deal to exchange experts between the two countries' education and IT sectors for further enhancing bilateral cooperation.

 

Source: The Financial Express (01 Sep, 2015)

 

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All-stakeholder meet urges western buyers

Pay more to share compliance cost for healthier RMG industry

“US denial of GSP facility to BD not acceptable”

 

Speakers at an all-stakeholder meet observed Wednesday Bangladesh readymade garment sector still struggling to meet compliance with its existing profit margins, lowest in the world, and urged the western buyers to pay more to see a healthier industry. They pointed at a disparity in compliance conditions handed to Bangladesh and those allowed to its competitors on the global apparel market and called for a fairer value chain on an equitable basis.   Exchanging views on a presentation entitled 'Bangladesh Apparel sector: does margin matter for ensuring compliance?' at the BRAC Centre Inn in the city, experts in the trade issues recommended adding a component of 'worker compliance' during negotiation on price.   This, in their view, would help the country come out of the situation arising out of the compliance issue raised and strongly being pursued by western consumer side following recent tragedies in factories. They, however, blamed the government for its "inability" to make the regulatory system accountable and acceptable to lessen growing international pressure. Policy think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue-Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organized the dialogue. With CPD Chairman Prof Rehman Sobhan in the chair, the meet was attended by labour and employment secretary Mikhail Shipar as chief guest. The EU trade adviser said supplier side has no other choice than to comply in the case of preferential trade and urged the readymade garment sector to be prepared from now on for the GSP-plus regime. Roy Ramesh Chandra, president of United Federation of Garment Workers, however, highlighted fact that marginal profit of the apparel sector was not as low as it is now and urged the authorities concerned to be alert on the ethical buying practice, as to whether it is being maintained or not. BGMEA Director Arshad Ahmed laid importance on forming participatory committee to oversee developments in the sector on compliance issues.  The CPD suggested the market players to build an integrated value chain in which suppliers and buyers will jointly share the responsibility for improving compliance issues and said allocation for maintaining compliance by apparel firms needs to be increased.

 

 

Source: The Financial Express (13 Aug, 2015)

 

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Buyers bag $69m orders for garment equipment

 

The three-day Bangladesh Apparel and Safety Expo has got spot orders for export of 2.0 million pieces of jackets and shirts and machinery, sweater machine, fire equipments and accessories worth US$ 69 million. The BGMEA leaders have termed this a major achievement and "unprecedented" and said through this exposition Chittagong has showcased its products to the global buyers and proved its potential. The spot orders include RMG (readymade garment) machinery sales of $ 20 million, sweater machine of $ 12 million, fire safety equipment of $ 22 million and RMG accessories $ 15 million. The export orders for 2.0 million pieces of jacket and shirt came mostly from the Russian buyers where a small fraction of Bangladesh apparel usually gets access. The BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) leaders, however, did not specify the volume of export in terms of money. They said that the spot orders the manufacturers and sellers have gained are the major achievements. "What we have earned through this expo is that we could ably put forth Bangladesh Brand, our potential in the apparel sector to the global buyers and their representatives," said BGMEA first vice president Nasiruddin Ahmed Chowdhury. He said that they have successfully projected the Bangladesh apparel and its future to the global buyers. Many global buyers have visited the expo in person as it was held in a gorgeous manner in the Radisson Blu. "This was a great event for lift of Bangladesh Brands RMG, especially the potential of the RMG sector in Chittagong. Bangladesh aims to earn $50 billion from the RMG sector by 2021 as envisioned by our Prime Minister," he said.

 

 

Source: The Financial Express (09 Aug, 2015)

 

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PM wants int'l buyers of BD RMG products to raise prices

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged the buyers of the developed countries to raise the prices of Bangladesh's readymade garment (RMG) which will ultimately help the garment workers to get higher wages. She said the minimum wages of RMG workers have already been raised from Tk1,600 to Tk5,300 since 2009. Sheikh Hasina said the people of Bangladesh are very much efficient and hard-working ones and they can always perform better if they get the chance. The prime minister said this when State Minister of Department for International Development (DFID) of UK, Desmond Angus Swayne, met her at her official residence Ganobhaban. PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting. He said Sheikh Hasina highlighted the steps taken by her government for the development of the RMG sector and the welfare of the workers of apparel factories. During the meeting, the British state minister praised the success of Bangladesh in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) and women development. “Bangladesh is a star in achieving the MDGs," the UK minister was quoted as telling Sheikh Hasina. He also praised Hasina's leadership saying that Bangladesh is awaiting a bright future under her able leadership. Swayne said Bangladesh's RMG workers should have more training to be more competitive in the international market. The UK junior minister mentioned Sheikh Hasina's participation in the Girls' Summit in London last year and said he is impressed seeing the martial art training of the girls in Chilmari, according to UNB.

 


Source: The Financial Express (06 Aug, 2015)

 

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US to help BGMEA reach $50b export by 2021: Ms. Bernicat

 

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat on Thursday said the United States absolutely wants to continue partnership in Bangladesh’s RMG sector transformation and help BGMEA reach its goal of exporting $50 billion by 2021. “The US is here today because we absolutely want to continue this partnership and help BGMEA reach its goal of exporting $50 billion by 2021,” Ms. Bernicat said adding that this is an ambitious, but very possible goal. The US diplomat was addressing an event titled ‘Bangladesh Apparel & Safety Expo, Chittagong 2015' held at Radisson Blu Chittagong Bay View in Chittagong city on Thursday. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed inaugurated the exposition. Ms. Bernicat said the US and other governments, along with the brands, are playing a valuable role to strengthen the RMG sector; and they intend to stay engaged. “Together with you, the other international partners and the brands, I’m confident we’re building a better and more productive RMG sector and demonstrating to the world that business success goes hand-in-hand with workers’ rights and safety,” she said. In the end, though, Ms.Bernicat said it is Bangladesh and the exporters who need to make the choice about whether ‘you want an industry that fully meets international standards and whether you are ready to make the courageous and responsible choices that are needed for the industry to evolve and continue to thrive.’ The US envoy said the readymade garment sector, represented by the factory owners as well as the men, and especially the women working in this sector, has been the engine behind the remarkable story of Bangladesh’s economic growth. The United States is the largest single consumer buying Bangladeshi garments ($5 billion last year). This expo is visible evidence of the RMG industry’s commitment to improving and developing itself and thereby contributing to the ongoing development of Bangladesh, Ms. Bernicat said. “I look forward to speaking later about the question of the future of the Bangladesh brand, but right now I want to talk briefly about the past and the present.” The US Government has worked closely -- and proudly -with the Bangladesh government, brands, factory owners, and unions to strengthen workers' safety and labor rights, and to foster a stronger industry, she added. Ms. Bernicat said the US government will work with two Bangladeshi banks to fund a $22 million credit guarantee to facilitate loans from those banks to you for safety improvements in your readymade garment factories.

 

Source: The Financial Express (06 Aug, 2015)

 

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2.76m tonnes of RMG exported through Ctg Port last fiscal

CHITTAGONG, Aug 3: Over 2.76 million tons of ready-made garment (RMG) products have been exported through Chittagong Port in the last financial year (FY), 2014-15, against over 2.65 million tons in the previous year. According to data of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), 27,60,449 tons of RMG products worth US$ 25.94 billion were exported through the country's prime maritime port in FY 15, while it was 26,53,198 tons in the previous FY. The country's 81 per cent of total RMG export was done through Chittagong Port in last FY. In the first half of the fiscal the exporters exported 13,32,380 tons of RMG products through the port, while in the second half it was 14,280,69 tons. June 2015, the last month of FY 15, saw the highest volume of RMG export, 2,86,957 tons, through Chittagong Port, while July 2014 saw the second highest volume, 2,67,353 tons, CPA data shows. Port officials said more volume of RMG could have been exported through the port had the political situation been normal during the January-March period of FY 15.According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country earned $31.20 billion through export in 2014-15, which is $2.00 billion lower than the set target of $33.20 billion. For the current FY the export earning target has been set at $33.50 billion with 7.38 per cent annual growth projection. Export earning from the RMG sector has been set at $27.37 billion with 7.36 per cent growth. In 2013-14 total unit of RMG exported from the country was 1.00 billion, while in 2014-15 it was 1.57 billion units.
 

Source: The Financial Express (04 Aug, 2015)

 

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 October 2014

 

  EU for urgent formation of rules to execute labor law

  US help to move BD RMG industry forward sought

  Russia assures Bangladesh of duty, quota-free access of RMG items

  Meeting with Bangladesh Indenting Agents Assoc. Yunnan province of China eager to invest in BD

  US, Brazil resolve long-running cotton fight
  Belarus offers $15m to improve BD RMG sector

  Bumper jute production expected in Khulna

  RMG factories need $150m to mend safety flaws
  Cotton farming gets momentum in CHT
  BKMEA guide to help exporters enhance price

  BD 'most attractive investment destination' in Southeast Asia

  New EU GSP won't affect Bangladesh's exports

  VF, IFC team up to provide $10m for apparel sector

  Mongla Port to be brought under automation system

  Japanese investors likely to be given 8,000-acre SEZ in Chittagong

  Mongla Port to be brought under automation system

  BD's export growth in US market 18pc last FY: Tofail

 

 

EU for urgent formation of rules to execute labor law

The European Union (EU) Monday pressed for urgent formulation of necessary rules for implementation of the labor law, especially to safeguard labor rights and standards. The call came from a meeting on 'Bangladesh Sustainability Compact', held in Brussels, one year after signing the agreement to review the progress made in the country's ready-made garment (RMG) industry. Bangladesh signed the deal with the EU in July 2013 after the Rana Plaza collapse. Later the US joined the initiative. Bangladesh pledged to improve labor rights and health and safety conditions for workers as well as to encourage responsible behavior by businesses in the RMG industry within a specific period. "There has been much progress since then: labor law has been amended to strengthen freedom of association, collective bargaining and occupational health and safety; new trade unions have been created; more labor, and fire and building safety inspections have been carried out," a statement issued by the EU said, quoting its Commissioner László Andor.
 

Source: The Financial Express (21 Oct, 2014)
 


US help to move BD RMG industry forward sought

The US has been requested to help Bangladesh's readymade garment (RMG) industry so that it can move forward smoothly. Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States Mohammad Ziauddin came up with the request when he called on Congresswoman (Democrat-Queens) Grace Meng in Washington on Friday, according to a message received in Dhaka on Sunday, reports BSS. The Bangladesh envoy also mentioned about the tremendous impact of the RMG industry, which is transforming the entire society, especially empowering the women in Bangladesh. He also briefed Ms Grace Meng about the actions taken by the present government since the Rana Plaza tragedy that cover a broad range of areas including legal and institutional reforms, administrative actions, launching special program, fire and building safety measures, follow-up and monitoring. The Congresswoman enquired about the visible impacts of the actions taken by the government following the tragedy.
 

Source: The Financial Express (20 Oct, 2014)
 

Russia assures Bangladesh of duty, quota-free access of RMG items

Russia has assured Bangladesh of giving duty-free and quota-free access of readymade garment (RMG) products to its market. Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu disclosed this on Sunday after a meeting with Russian Ambassador in Dhaka Alexander A Nikolaev in the city, reports BSS. They also discussed various issues including bilateral cooperation on trade and industry. The envoy emphasized forming an inter-governmental joint commission on trade and economic development for strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries on industry and trade. The minister said the government is giving the highest priority for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Meanwhile, China, Japan along with other developed countries sought separate economic zone for investment in Bangladesh, Mr. Amu said, adding, "If Russia proposes then the government will consider it positively."
 

Source: The Financial Express (20 Oct, 2014)
 

Meeting with Bangladesh Indenting Agents Assoc. Yunnan province of China eager to invest in BD

Yunnan province of China expressed its strong eagerness Thursday to invest in different potential sectors of Bangladesh especially hydropower, energy and mining. A 13-member high-powered delegation of the Department of Commerce of Yunnan Province expressed the keenness at a China-Bangladesh Trade Promotion Meeting with Bangladesh Indenting Agents' Association (BIAA) at a city hotel. Yang Hui, deputy director general of the Department of Commerce of Yunnan Province, led the visiting Yunnan delegation while the BIAA was led by its president KMH Shahidul Haque. To facilitate the Yunnan investment in Bangladesh, Mr. Hui sought cooperation and assistance from BIAA about the investment areas and market here. He mentioned the location of Bangladesh and Yunnan Province of China on the proposed BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) Economic Corridor, stretching from Kolkata to Kunming through Chittagong, is tremendously potential for enhancing business between Bangladesh and Yunnan. The team further underlined for exchange of information about trade and commerce of Bangladesh and China, facilitating increase in business relation between the two countries. Mentioning the Bangladesh's competitiveness in labor cost, Mr. Haque called upon the Chinese delegation to invest in and relocate their labor-intensive factories like textiles and readymade garment (RMG) too in Bangladesh.
 

Source: The Financial Express (10 Oct, 2014)
 

US, Brazil resolve long-running cotton fight

The United States and Brazil closed a 12-year-old fight over US cotton subsidies yesterday, with the US paying $300 million to the Brazilian Cotton Institute to settle the trade battle. US Trade Representative Michael Froman said Brazil had agreed to end its World Trade Organization case against the world's largest cotton exporter, and to not lodge any new actions as long as current US policies remain in place. The US meanwhile must hold to the conditions under its current farm support policies. That includes keeping new limits on export credits and guarantees provided to cotton exporters, so as not to give them unfair advantage in the global marketplace. Brazil, the world's fourth-largest cotton exporter, first raised objections to US cotton subsidies in 2002, saying US subsidies violated WTO rules. The WTO ruled in Brazil's favor in 2005 and again in 2008, allowing Brasilia to impose countermeasures against US trade.
That verdict raised US worries about losing market access and intellectual property protection in Brazil, as well as the United States' 28 percent share of global cotton trade.
 

Source: AFP (02 Oct, 2014)
 

Belarus offers $15m to improve BD RMG sector

Belarus has offered Bangladesh US$15 million as long-term assistance for the development of readymade garment (RMG) sector. Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail V Myasnikovich made the offer during a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the UN Headquarters on Wednesday morning (local time), reports bdnews24.com. Later, briefing reporters, Prime Minister's Media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said the Prime Minister had emphasized boosting cooperation in investment and trade.
 

Source: The Financial Express (26 Sep, 2014)
 

Bumper jute production expected in Khulna

Farmers in 10 districts of Khulna division are expecting a bumper production of jute in the current season. Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources Said, a total of 1,93,073 hectares of land were brought under jute cultivation in Jessore, Narail, Jhenidah, Magura, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Satkhira, Khulna and Bagerhat districts with a production target of about 21,04,174 bales of the jute. The DAE officials, growers and local farmers of the region expressed similar hope to get a bumper jute production, as climatic conditions are favorable. The officials of DAE particularly sub-assistant agriculture officers in field level have motivated the farmers to cultivate jute on their land in large scale to meet its growing demand of jute mills. Mohammad Abdul Aziz, additional director of Jessore regional DAE, said field workers and crop specialists helped the farmers to make the jute cultivation program a success in the current season.
 

Source: BSS, JESSORE (Sept 12, 2014)
 

RMG factories need $150m to mend safety flaws

Factories making apparels for the signatory brands, buyers and retailers banded under Alliance will require some $150 million to repair the safety-related flaws identified by the North American initiative-appointed engineers. "Alliance assessment, on average, has identified 45 kinds of faults in each garment factory, especially fire and electrical ones, and each unit needs $250,000 to carry out the remedial work," M Rabin, managing director of the Alliance, said Wednesday at a press conference held in the city. The conference was organized to share the details about its achievements in the areas of wage distribution, worker empowerment and the financing of factory repairs. Against the backdrop of past tragedies in a few garment factories, the North American initiative completed primary inspection of its 600 member-factories in July. Terming the remediation part the 'challenging one', the Alliance MD said, "Remediation has so far taken place in 50 per cent of its inspected garment factories while the rest are in process." Explaining the remediation work, he said some of its signatories' brands, including Walmart, started their inspection program immediately after the Tazreen fire incident.
 

Source: The Financial Express (11 Sep, 2014)
 

Cotton farming gets momentum in CHT

Cotton has now become the main crop in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) as the farmers are showing more interest in cultivating it due to the demand both at home and abroad. Farmers cultivated the crop on about 10,000 hectares of hillside land this season, exceeding the target set by the Bangladesh Cotton Development Board (BCDB), said officials of BCDB.


According to Rangamati district zone office of BCDB the cultivation target of cotton during this season was fixed at 9,500 hectors of land. Chief Cotton Development Officer Paresh Chandra Chakma said during this season a total of about 4,143 bales of cotton are expected to be produced. Farmer Anil Chakma of Kurkutichhari village under Sadar upazila said he has cultivated cotton on two acres of land being inspired by other farmers. Now, the farmers of the area are giving first priority to cultivate cotton on their land instead of other crops due to its demand, he added. Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) office sources said the demand of Karpus cotton, locally known as 'Pahari tula' is high in the markets as it is different in quality from other species of cotton produced in other districts across the country.
 

Source: BSS, RANGAMATI (07 Sep, 2014)
 

BKMEA guide to help exporters enhance price

The knitwear sector grouping has published a directory for the first time, which will help local exporters increase their shipment prices. In the book titled 'Global Buyers Information Directory', it has detailed information about foreign buyers, and comparative import prices of textiles items, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) said. The directory containing information of more than 20,000 buyers from 160 countries would help local exporters in price negotiation and making deal, the BKMEA said in a statement.


Most important feature of the book is import prices of goods that the foreign buyers spend while import from other countries has also been incorporated which would help the locals in price negotiation. "Local exporters offer far lower prices than the exporters of our competing countries as they do not have knowledge over their competitors abroad," the press release said.
 

Source: The Financial Express (05 Sep, 2014)
 

2nd Investment Summits thrust on corporate ethos
BD 'most attractive investment destination' in Southeast Asia

Bangladesh is now the most attractive and potential destination for investment in Southeast Asia as it has had a stable gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the last one decade. Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi said this while presenting the keynote paper at the second Bangladesh Investment Summit, Asia, organized by Finance Asia in Singapore Thursday, according to a message received in Dhaka on the day, reports UNB. "Bangladesh is truly moving forward and proving herself as the most vibrant and potential destination for investment in Southeast Asia as the country has been achieving a stable GDP growth of over 6.0 per cent for the last one decade," he said. The main slogan of the summit was 'Unlocking Opportunities for Asia's Investors'. Mr. Rizvi focused on the challenges and future of Bangladesh, its forex reserve, export growth, remittance earnings from 10 million people working outside, the balance of payments (BoP) and growing power generation. He also focused on Bangladesh's growing domestic market of 160 million people in addition to 70 million of the eastern region of India.
 

Source: The Financial Express (05 Sep, 2014)
 

New EU GSP won't affect Bangladesh's exports
Small impact on RMG

Speakers at a seminar opined Thursday that new Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) of European Union (EU) will have a negligible impact on Bangladesh's export to the EU market except a little effect on readymade garments sector. Presenting a keynote paper on the topic, Director of the Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI) Dr. Mostafa Abid Khan said Bangladesh has emerged as a new competitor in the EU market. The new GSP, introduced from January 01 this year, will affect RMG sector a little, but that is not a matter of concern. The BFTI organized the seminar titled 'Revised GSP Scheme of European Union: Implications for Bangladesh' at CIRDAP auditorium in the city to release findings of a study, conducted by the BFTI on revised European Union GSP. The study examines the major changes in the revised EU GSP scheme and their impact on Bangladesh's export by identifying the major competitors, using quantitative tools. The affected items of Bangladesh, as revealed in the study, are mainly knit and woven textile products. The EU introduced new GSP from January 1 this year that is known as GSP Plus scheme. Two components of the EU's GSP are: Everything but Arms (EBA) for the least developed countries (LDCs) and the GSP Plus for developing countries. According to the BFTI study, Bangladesh's export to EU market during first five months (January-May) of this year increased by 11 per cent in comparison with the same period of last year while Pakistan's exports grew by 27 per cent for the same period. Besides, Bangladesh's export of oven and knit products to EU market witnessed less growth than Pakistan's export growth.
 

Source: The Financial Express (05 Sep, 2014)
 

Fire, building safety
VF, IFC team up to provide $10m for apparel sector

The VF Corporation, an American apparel giant, teamed up with International Finance Corporation (IFC) Wednesday to provide US$10 million for financing fire and building safety improvements in the readymade garment (RMG) sector of Bangladesh. These funds are part of VF's overall $17 million commitment to the health and safety of Bangladeshi garment workers, a statement issued by the company said. With this financial commitment, VF is providing a corporate guarantee for IFC remediation loans to VF suppliers, it said adding the program will enable the IFC to award loans at a reasonable cost to qualified suppliers who own factories in Bangladesh that produce VF products, helping to accelerate the implementation of needed fire and building safety improvements. "The safety of the people making our products around the world is an imperative," Eric Wiseman, chairman, president and CEO of VF said adding: "Our program with IFC helps to ensure that our suppliers have access to the necessary capital to complete safety improvement plans." With the support of IFC, this program provides an innovative solution to facilitate indirect financing support from VF to help improve supplier factory safety. IFC will utilize its in-house expertise on environmental and social standards to support the effort.
 

Source: The Financial Express (04 Sep, 2014)
 

Mongla Port to be brought under automation system

The Mongla Port, country's second largest seaport, will be brought under automation system with a view to modernize its activities. Talking to the news agency the port officials said, tenders were invited in last June for implementation of this project at a cost of Tk. 40 million. Exporters and importers who use Mongla Port have been demanding automation system for last three decades, adding that with implementation of this project it would be easier for port users to get all business related necessary information through website and internet services.
 

Source: BSS, KHULNA (Aug 24)
 

Japanese investors likely to be given 8,000-acre SEZ in Chittagong

The government will provide lands for setting up special economic zone (SEZ) for Japanese investors aiming to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.


"We will provide lands for setting up SEZ for Japanese investors that will help boost trade and investment between the two countries," Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told the media after meeting a Japanese delegation at his Secretariat office Thursday. Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan Norihiko Ishiguro led the delegation. He hinted that eight thousand acres of lands in Mirsarai in Chittagong might be offered to the Japanese investors. Earlier the government decided to allocate lands for the Japanese investors as entrepreneurs of the world's third largest economy have expressed to invest in Bangladesh considering cheap labor force and the prevailing investment-friendly atmosphere. Bangladesh has the opportunity to grab a significant share of the market that could help the country to fetch $7-8 billion by increasing export of RMG to Japan. Bangladesh also exports leather goods to Japan
 

Source: The Financial Express (22 Aug, 2014)
 

Despite GSP suspension
BD's export growth in US market 18pc last FY: Tofail

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the country's export growth was 18 per cent in US market last fiscal year (FY), 2013-14, despite suspension of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility for a long time. He was speaking at the concluding ceremony of the Training Program for Economic Journalists at the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) in the city Monday. PIB and Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF) jointly organized the three-day training program. The minister said there has been no GSP facility from the US to any country since last November due to the expiry of the timeframe. The minister said if the US government ever provides GSP to any country, Bangladesh would be able to achieve the facility. He said Bangladesh is now the second largest readymade garment (RMG) exporter in the world but there are local and international conspiracies around the country's RMG sector.
 

Source: The Financial Express (19 Aug, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 July 2014


  Broad-based plans for further improving handloom sector: Minister

  BD urges global stakeholders to fulfill pledges for RMG sector
  Better jute production likely despite farming shortfall in N-dists
  Exports in 1st 10 months show moderate growth
  Tk 2.0b BB refinance fund for jute sector
 Square Textiles earns Tk. 587.78m as net profit, approves 20pc cash, 10pc stock div
  Trade imbalance with BD to be reduced, Xi Jinping tells PM
  BJMC exporting Tk670m hessian cloth to China
  Apparel, textiles to get tax benefits as Muhith rolls out budget
  Farmers urged to expand cotton farming in Barind tract
  Export to US sees 5.0pc growth in July-Apr of FY '14

  Govt. brings RMG under Textiles ministry

  US wants BD to do more to get back GSP facility

  Direct shipping services between Ranong, Ctg ports underscored

 

Broad-based plans for further improving handloom sector: Minister

The present government has undertaken broad-based initiatives for further improving the handloom sector with all modern facilities including training and setting up of new establishments."The Bangladesh Handloom Board has placed eight proposals to the government to achieve the target in the sixth and seventh five-year plans during 2011-2021," said Jute and Textile Minister ImajuddinPramanik in the JatiyaSangsad Tuesday, reports BSS.

The ongoing projects under the 6th plan are fashion design and training institute, one basic centre, BMRE of the existing textile processing centre at Madhabdi (Narshingdi) and three service centres at the handloom-dominated areas under the 6th plan.The proposed projects under the 7th plan are: construction of the "TantBhaban" and Basic Centre for development of Benarashi Village, setting up 21 permanent "TantMela" for the marginal weavers, establishment of training facilities in 20 basic centres of Bangladesh Handloom Board, conducting training programmes in three hill districts and opening time-befitting diploma course at Bangladesh Handloom Education and Training Institute, Narsingdi.

The minister said country's 12,819 handlooom factories meet 40 per cent of the total demand for cloth at home. According to a handloom census of 2003, there are 12,819 handloom factories in the country, MrPramanik said.

 

Source: The Financial Express (02 Jul, 2014)



BD urges global stakeholders to fulfill pledges for RMG sector

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam Friday urged the global apparel industry stakeholders to remain engaged and fulfill all the remaining commitments made since last year in sustaining the Bangladesh Readymade Garment (RMG) sector. The state minister, who is in Paris to attend the second Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct, made the call while presenting his keynote speech in the dedicated session titled "Rana Plaza Aftermath: Responsible Supply Chains in the Textiles and Garment Sector" here. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) organized the session under the umbrella of the forum held on June 26-27, 2014.


He apprised of a host of actions and measures taken by the government and RMG industry stakeholders in Bangladesh over the past one and a half years. He said the growth of the RMG industry in Bangladesh over the past three decades has not only been reflected in terms of emergence of many entrepreneurs but also in respect of contribution to attainment of MDGs, balanced contribution to poverty eradication, equitable and inclusive economic growth, employment and overall social transformation in Bangladesh. The Deputy Director General of ILO Mr. Honbu, Dutch Development Minister Ploumen and the French finance minister attending the two and half hour session attested the details and changes in Bangladesh and overwhelmingly qualified the engagement of the government and industry manifesting a most desired partnership, towards securing equity, dignity, justice and responsibility. OECD secretary general, the EU trade commissioner and many others termed Bangladesh's comprehensive engagement in addressing the challenges in RMG sector as commendable and added that OECD is considering to take up the experience in Bangladesh as a model for replicating elsewhere in the world within global supply chain in manufacturing.
 

Source: BSS (28 June, 2014)



Better jute production likely despite farming shortfall in N-dists

RANGPUR, June 23 (BSS): The farmers are expecting better jute production as the plants are growing excellent now in northern districts despite a shortfall in the farming target this season when harvest of the fiber crop will begin from the next month, official sources said. According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources, the farmers have cultivated jute on over 0.19 million hectares land this season in the northern region, about 28,000 hectares or 13 percent less than the fixed target of bringing over 0.22 million hectares land under cultivation of crop. The fixed jute farming target could not be achieved this season due to the prolonged drought-like situation that caused lack of soil moisture hampering sowing of jute seed everywhere, crop diversification and some other reasons. According to the DAE sources, a target of producing over 2.41 million bales of jute from over 0.22 million hectares of land has been fixed for the current season in the northern region.


However, the farmers have finally cultivated 'Tosha' variety jute on over 0.17 million hectares of land, 'Deshi' variety on 13,635 hectares, 'Mechhta' variety on 4,607 hectares and 'Kenaf' variety jute on 2,275 hectares of land this season. Horticulture Specialist of the Agriculture Extension (DAE) Khandker Md. Mesbahul Islam said the farmer faced hurdles in sowing jute seed due to drought-like situation though the situation eased following frequent rainfalls from the end of April last.


Talking to BSS today, Principal Scientific Officer of Rangpur Regional Station of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) Dr Mohammad Ayub Khan narrated various reasons behind the shortfall in farming target of jute this season in the region.


"The prolonged drought-like situation mainly hampered timely sowing of jute seed this season," he said and also blamed comparatively lower market price of jute last season and crop diversification for not achieving the fixed cultivation target. He said steps have been taken to evolve mechanized method for easily separating and rotting of jute fiber adopting the latest technologies to ensure better quality of jute so that the farmers could get higher price and become interested in farming jute on more land. The farmers have started adopting the latest line sowing jute technology using seeder machines saving huge seed and reducing farming costs and ribbon-retting method to get quality fiber and more profit, he added.

 

Source: BSS (23 June, 2014)



Exports in 1st 10 months show moderate growth

Country's exports to key destinations like Germany, the UK and France posted a modest growth in the first 10 months (July-April) of the current fiscal year (2013-14) compared to the same period in the last fiscal (2012-13), according to a news agency. During the July-April of fiscal 2013-14, exports to Germany totaled $ 3,912.84 million, which was 15.87 per cent of total export earnings for the 10-month period. Of the amount, knitwear accounted for $ 2133.45 million, woven garments $ 1504.93 million and frozen shrimp $ 58.41 million, according to the latest figures provided by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). The EPB figures showed the total exports to the UK during the July-April period $ 2,389.76 million, which was 9.69 per cent of the total export earnings for the period. The export of RMG items to the UK accounted for $ 2,125.01 million in July-April of 2013-14, a growth of 5.82 per cent over $ 2008.13 million during the same period of the previous fiscal. The home textile export to the UK during the period was $ 57.86 million, frozen shrimp $ 78.95 million and bicycles $ 51.94 million. The exports to France during the period increased to $ 1348.11 million, which accounted for 5.47 per cent of the total export earnings for the 10- month period. The RMG exports to France rose to $ 1235.75 million in July-April of the fiscal 2013-14 as against $ 1085.78 million during the same period of the previous fiscal (2012-13), showing a 13.81 per cent growth. The exports to Italy totaled $ 1045.62 million in this July-April period with knitwear accounting for $ 570.50 million, woven garment $ 351.45 million and leather $ 59.62 million. The exports to Belgium amounted to $ 791.37 million that included knitwear $ 364.85 million, woven garment $ 272.87 million and frozen shrimp $ 80.40 million. Export earnings from the USA, the largest market for Bangladesh goods, registered a growth of 5 per cent in July-April of the current fiscal totaling $ 4,593.29 million, which was 18.63 per cent of the total export earnings for the period. The Netherlands, another big export destination for Bangladesh, imported goods worth $ 688.52 million during the July-April period. The amount included knitwear $ 314.98 million, woven garment $ 233.12 million and frozen shrimp $ 64.64 million. Among the Middle East, Far East and South Asian countries, exports to Japan totalled $ 723.48 million, Singapore $ 115.54 million and China $ 611.26 million.


Among the South Asian countries, exports to India amounted to $ 333.91 million during the period that included jute and jute made goods $ 51.05 million and woven garment $ 63.76 million while exports to Australia totalled $ 401.69 million, including $ 116.83 million from woven garments and $ 244.29 million from knitwear.

 

Source: The Financial Express (20 Jun, 2014)



Tk 2.0b BB refinance fund for jute sector

The central bank has created its own Tk 2.0 billion refinance fund for jute sector, officials have said.
The tenure of the scheme with the revolving fund will be of five years and will be operated by the Agricultural Credit and Financial Inclusion Department of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), they said. The BB had been bringing many more sectors under its refinance scheme in the wake of growing demand for boosting activities in those areas in the country, a BB high official said. The businesspeople in the jute sector including exporters and jute mill owners will get bank loans at a lower rate of interest under the scheme, BB sources said. State-owned jute mills, private jute mills and raw jute traders will get 40 per cent, 40 per cent and 20 per cent loans respectively from the fund, according to the BB. "If any amount under the 40 per cent quota for state-owned jute mills remains unused, it will be disbursed among private jute mills," a central banker said. The fund for the refinance scheme would come from the BB's own coffer.


The scheduled banks would get loans from the refinance scheme at an interest rate of five per cent for disbursement among the businesspeople, who would get loans at an interest rate of 9 per cent, he said.
 

Source: The Financial Express (18 Jun, 2014)
 

 

Square Textiles earns Tk. 587.78m as net profit, approves 20pc cash, 10pc stock div

Square Textiles Ltd has approved cash dividend at the rate of 20% and Stock Dividend (Bonus Share) at the rate 10% to its shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2013 at its 19th Annual General Meeting held on the Factory Premises, Sardaganj, Kashimpur, Gazipur Monday. Mr. Tapan Chowdhury, Managing Director; Mr. M Sekander Ali, Independent Director; Mr. Syed Afzal Hasan Uddin, Independent Director; Mr. Md. Kabir Reza, Director (A&F), Mr. Mostaque Ahmed Siddiqui, COO, Mr. Md. Alamgir Hossain, CFO and Mr. Khandaker Habibuzzaman, Company Secretary were present in the meeting. The gross profit, net profit (Before Tax) and net profit (After Tax) for the year 2013 were Tk. 948.72 million, Tk. 696.78 million and Tk. 587.78 million respectively. The company contributed an amount of Tk. 122.63 million to the National Exchequer. The company contributed substantially to the Foreign Exchange Reserve of the country through its marketing operation during 2013. This amounted to Tk. 1,746.94 million. The Board of Directors appreciates the performance of the officers, staff and workers whose untiring efforts helped to optimize the profit of the Company. The Directors expressed their gratitude and acknowledged with keen interest the co-operation and unflinching support received from various agencies including Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, Stock Exchanges, National Board of Revenue and other agencies of the public and private sector.

 

Source: The Financial Express (17 Jun, 2014)
 


Trade imbalance with BD to be reduced, Xi Jinping tells PM
MoU signed with China for building Karnaphuli tunnel


Terming Bangladesh an important country in the Indian Ocean region and China's strategic partner, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday they are also concerned about the trade gap between Bangladesh and China and his government is looking into the matter."We recognise the trade imbalance, we're also equally concerned. This has been raised up high and this should be reduced," Jinping told Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina in a meeting with him.


Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque shared the outcome of the meeting held at the Chinese President's office in the Great Hall of People. Jinping said the Chinese government is looking into the trade gap issue to find out which items China could import from Bangladesh. Earlier, Bangladesh and China signed Monday night a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on construction of a tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong. Chinese government will construct the tunnel involving US$ 1.0 billion, foreign ministry sources said.
 

Source: UNB (10 June, 2014)



 

 

BJMC exporting Tk670m hessian cloth to China

The Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) has started exporting 15,000 bales of hessian cloth worth Tk 670 million to China, officials said. The first-ever shipment of hessian cloth to China was made in December 2013. And so far, 8,700 bales of the product were exported to the Sinochem Plastic Company based in Shanghai, China.


Hessian cloth- an environment friendly product- has a wide demand in China for preserving tobacco leaf. China has started stopping production of hessian cloth because of high labor cost there. The labor cost in China is six to seven times higher than Bangladesh, giving the latter an ample opportunity to export hessian cloth there. "China is a big market for exporting jute goods, especially hessian cloth. Our export will grow significantly in China if we could grab a significant portion of the market," Babul Chandra Roy, director (marketing) of the BJMC told the FE. Bangladesh has a massive trade deficit with China, which imported goods worth only $485 million against its $6.3 billion exports in 2013 fiscal.

 

Source: The Financial Express (9 Jun, 2014)
 


Apparel, textiles to get tax benefits as Muhith rolls out budget
Green levy imposed on environ culprits

Finance minister has proposed reduction of tax at source and duty withdrawal for the imports of prefabricated building raw materials and safety equipment as the textile and clothing industry struggles to meet global retailers' standards. The finance minister has proposed the reduction of tax at source from 0.80 per cent to 0.30 per cent for the garment exports while proposed to reduce it to 0.60 per cent for all other exports."To encourage the export sector, I propose to reduce the rate of tax at source on Cash Incentive from 5 per cent to 3 per cent," the minister said in his budget speech. These preferential rates will remain effective up to 30 June, 2015.In order to help create favorable production environment compatible with international standards, the budget has also proposed conditional duty waiver for import of raw materials necessary for setting up prefabricated buildings. Duty will also be waived in case of imports of fire-resistant door, emergency light, and sprinkler system to ensure internal security and compliance of standards in ready-made garment sector. For the textile sector, in addition to the facilities given in the previous budget, the proposed budget has reduced duty to five per cent from the existing 10 per cent for a few raw materials used in this sector.
 

Source: The Financial Express (6 Jun, 2014)
 


Farmers urged to expand cotton farming in Barind tract

Speakers at a daylong discussion urged the farmers and others concerned to expand cotton farming in the vast Barind tract for boosting up its production to meet up the country's demand. They viewed prospect of boosting cotton production in the drought-prone barind region is bright as its topography and climatic condition suitable for the cash crop. The observations came at a regional workshop titled "Extension of Cotton Farming in Barind Tract Amidst Changed Climate" held at the conference hall of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) in Rajshahi metropolis on Friday. Cotton Development Board (CDB) under its 'Extensive Cotton Cultivation Program' organized the workshop. Joint Secretary to the Agriculture Ministry Jamsher Ahmed Khandaker addressed the opening session as the chief guest with CDB Executive Director Abdul Latif in the chair. Additional Director of CDB Dr. Farid Uddinspoke as special guests. Considering the demand of the country's textile industries, the local cotton growers can meet only a meager 3-5 per cent of the annual demand and the rest is met through import. Chief Guest Jamsher Ahmed said there is an enormous prospect of boosting cotton production after the best uses of existing natural resources. Cotton Development Board has adopted a five- year project titled "Extensive Cotton Cultivation" considering importance of the sector and its further development.
 

Source: BSS (28 June, 2014)
 

Export to US sees 5.0pc growth in July-Apr of FY '14

Export earning from the USA, the largest export destination for Bangladesh goods, witnessed a 5.0 per cent growth during the first ten months (July-April) of the current fiscal year (FY), 2013-14, mostly due to good performance of the RMG (readymade garment) sector, reports UNB. Bangladesh exports to USA totaled US$ 4,593.29 million in July-April of FY 2013-14 compared to $ 4,374.41 million during the corresponding period of the previous FY (2012-13). The amount represents 18.63 per cent of the country's total export earnings during the period. According to the statistics compiled recently by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), RMG export, including knitwear, to the US amounted to $ 4,218.66 million during the July-April period of the current fiscal compared to $ 4015.31 million during the same period of the previous fiscal. The RMG items, including knitwear, witnessed a 5.06 per cent growth in the US market.


The major exports to the US market during the period were woven garment ($ 3,238.61 million), knitwear ($ 980.05 million), home textiles ($ 116.27 million) and cap ($ 35.97 million). During the period, around 31.86 per cent of the country's total woven garment exports entered the US market, followed by knitwear with 10 per cent.
 

Source: The Financial Express (31 May, 2014)
 

Govt. brings RMG under Textiles ministry

The government has brought Readymade Garment (RMG) industry under the Ministry of Textiles and Jute for smooth management and effective coordination, an official said in the city Thursday. "The decision to this effect was taken at an inter- ministerial meeting on May 5," the official told the news agencies. At present, garments makers approach ministry of commerce and sometimes ministries of industries and labor when they run into problem as they don't know which particular ministry is responsible for looking after the sector's issues.
 

Source: The Financial Express (30 May, 2014)
 

Maiden TICFA meet held
US wants BD to do more to get back GSP facility


The first ever Bangladesh-USA meeting held under the TICFA (Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement) concluded in Dhaka Monday with Washington asking Dhaka to do more in the areas of labor law reform and factory safety inspection to get the GSP (generalized systems of preferences) facility revived."We believe that there has been considerable progress in a number of areas and we are impressed by the direction it's heading. However, more needed to be done in terms of labor law reform and safety inspections," assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) for South Asia Michael Delaney said at a joint press briefing held after the meeting at a local hotel. Bangladesh and the US signed the TICFA deal on November 25 last year in Washington.
 

Source: The Financial Express (29 April, 2014)
 


Direct shipping services between Ranong, Ctg ports underscored

CHITTAGONG, May 19: Members of the delegation of Ranong Port of Thailand and Chittagong Port officials emphasized today the need for direct shipping services between the two ports and signing of a coastal shipping agreement between the two governments. They said that both the governments could ink an agreement like the one Bangladesh and Myanmar have signed recently. The views were exchanged during the official visit of a high- powered delegation headed by the Governor of Ranong province of Thailand Sub Lt Cherdsak Jampathes in the Chittagong Port.
 

Source: The Financial Express (29 April, 2014)

 

 

 April 2014

 

Registered TUs in RMG rise to 81 from only one: dialogue told

Planned RMG village to be set up : PM

First China cotton auction since price cut sees strong demand

Enhancement of trade between BD, S'pore stressed
UK minister extends support for improving safety standards in RMG sector

Spinners tell BJSA annual meet

India to help develop textile, jute sectors

BD exports to Turkey cross $1.0b mark

 

 

Registered TUs in RMG rise to 81 from only one: dialogue told
Building collapse, fire incidents put RMG in new challenges

Stakeholders have said last year's building collapse and fire incidents have put the readymade garment (RMG) industry in new challenges to develop well-organized trade unions and maintain better employer-worker relations for a sustainable industrial development. They said the number of registered trade unions increased to 81 in 2013 from only one in 2010 but incidents of industrial unrest are also on the rise though a study found hardly any involvement of registered unions in vandalism. They also emphasized on social safety net programs for garment workers and commitment of both owners and registered trade unions to create a better industrial environment. The stakeholders were sharing their views during a social dialogue on 'Industrial relations and sustainable development of RMG industry: role of national and international stakeholders' at Brac Centre in the city on Tuesday. The Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies (BILS) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) jointly organized the dialogue with the participation of all stakeholders of the RMG sector in the month of Rana Plaza collapse incident. The dialogue aimed at finding new roadmap for making Bangladesh the world's best RMG-producing country.

 

Source: The Financial Express (9th Apr, 2014)
 


Planned RMG village to be set up : PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Monday the government seeks to set up a planned garment village to provide better and secured workplace for the RMG workers, reports UNB. She said this when President of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Chairman of German Confederation of Trade Unions Michael Sommer called on her at her Parliament office. PM's special assistance Mahbubul Hoque Shakil, who was present during the meeting, later briefed the reporters. The Prime Minister told Sommer that in all countries across the globe the first initiative started in unplanned way, but later it took concrete shape through some planned measurers."Many problems are then solved in planned manner," she said. Talking about the country's garment sector, she said the government is making sincere efforts to uplift the RMG workers' fate.


She said if the buyers increase price for the RMG items, it would be helpful for the government to put pressure on the garment owners to enhance salaries and wages of the workers.
 

Source: The Financial Express (8th Apr, 2014)

 

First China cotton auction since price cut sees strong demand

BEIJING, Apr 2: The first auction of raw cotton by China's state stockpile since cutting its minimum bidding price met with strong demand on Tuesday, with appetite at future sales expected to stay robust as the country looks to offload its massive reserves. A successful round of sales could curb Chinese appetite for imports, pressuring international prices and hitting top exporters India and the United States, already smarting from dropping shipments.-Reuters.


Source: The Financial Express (3rd Apr, 2014)
 

Enhancement of trade between BD, S'pore stressed

Singapore will soon invite private sector entrepreneurs from Bangladesh to gain practical experience on the strong economy of Singapore and utilize those to further prosper the economy of Bangladesh, reports UNB. Singapore's non-resident High Commissioner to Bangladesh Chan Heng Wing conveyed this when he called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office on Thursday. Briefing journalists after the meeting, PM's Special Assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil said during the meeting, emphasis was given on enhancing trade and commerce between the two countries. Highlighting the strong base of the Singapore economy, Mr Wing said the private sector entrepreneurs from Bangladesh could go to Singapore and gain practical experience on their economy and later utilize those in enriching the industrial sector of Bangladesh. In response, the PM underscored the need for more connectivity and cooperation among the countries of south and south East Asia. She said her government has been giving emphasis on flourishing agro-processing industries alongside the RMG sector.
 

Source: The Financial Express (4th Apr, 2014)
 


UK minister extends support for improving safety standards in RMG sector

The visiting British minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan expressed Tuesday his government's willingness to support the initiative taken by Bangladesh authorities to upgrade safety standards in the country's apparel industry. He also suggested a coordinated effort from all stakeholders regarding the issue to ensure smooth production in the garment factories. In his first meeting with the labor minister, Mr. Duncan was informed about the progress so far made in the garment sector that included amendment to labor law, upgrade of Chief Inspector for Factories and Establishments to a full-fledged Department of Inspection for Factories with a new recruitment rules, establishment of hotlines and garment database. Bangladesh also sought support for training and other logistics from the UK minster. Mr. Duncan also announced three new projects involving a million pound to help improve working conditions and safety standards in Bangladesh's garment industry. He made the announcement at a press conference at the British High Commission Staff Amenities Centre in the city. British High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert Gibson was also present. The three projects announced by the Minister are part of the UKAID-funded Trade and Global Value Chains Initiative. He visited survivors of the collapsed Rana Plaza building and the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed people in Savar, which receives funding from UKAID, according to a news agency.
 

Source: The Financial Express (2nd Apr, 2014)
 


Spinners tell BJSA annual meet
Jute yarn sector gets saturated

Jute spinners at their annual general meeting (AGM) held Monday at in the city observed that the sector's excess capacity is causing a reduction in export earning. They said due to having a nearly 0.1 million tons of carryover, spinners are being forced to reduce the price of their product which, is giving the bargaining power to the importers. "It is now a great headache for the oversaturated jute spinning sector, which is depriving the country of a large amount of export earning while also giving the importers a bargaining power," Shabbir Yosuf said. He said in the financial year 2012-13, the spinners exported 0.516 million tons of products worth Tk 34.96 billion, which was 0.458 million tons worth Tk 33.67 billion in FY'12. He said per ton jute yarn was sold at Tk0.073 million in FY'12 which reduced to Tk 0.0677 million in FY'13, he said. Bangladesh is the key source for jute yarn in the world, supplying 90 per cent of the global requirement of nearly 0.6 million tons, according to the Department of Jute (DoJ). "But, the government, without considering it, has reduced export subsidy for the current fiscal year (FY) to 7.5 per cent from 10 per cent fixed earlier," he said. Spinners also urged the government to reduce the tax at source (at cash subsidy) to 1 per cent from the existing 5 per cent. However, the minister and the ministry secretary promised the yarn exporters to consider their demands the upcoming annual budget for the betterment of the jute sector. According to the state-run Department of Jute (DoJ), the country has now 96 jute spinning mills, where 80,000 workers produce 0.75 million tons of yarn annually. The sector exported nearly 0.52 million tons of yarn and fetched around $ 650 million in FY '13, which was 67 per cent of the total earnings from the jute sector. Bangladesh is home to 4.2 million jute farmers, who cultivate jute on 0.75 million hectares of land and produce 1.3 million tons of raw jute annually, according to DoJ.
 

Source: The Financial Express (25 Mar, 2014)
 


India to help develop textile, jute sectors

The Indian government has agreed to extend technical cooperation to Bangladesh in the textile and jute sectors. "India has committed to provide technical assistance for improvement of our textiles and jute sectors," a senior official told the FE Thursday after the first meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) for cooperation in the textiles sector between Bangladesh and India held in Dhaka.
The meeting discussed different issues including import of raw cotton from India and keeping functional the International Jute Study Group (IJSG), established under the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the term of which expires on April 26 this year. At the meeting a 17-member Bangladeshi delegation was led by Shamsul Kibria, joint secretary of the ministry of textiles and jute while Sujit Gulati, joint secretary of the Indian textiles ministry, led the six-member Indian team. The Indian government earlier promised to supply up to 2.0 million bales of raw cotton to Bangladesh in the 2013-14 cotton season, starting in October, even if a ban was imposed on such commodity export.
 

Source: The Financial Express (28th Feb, 2014)
 

 

BD exports to Turkey cross $1.0b mark

Bangladesh's exports to Turkey crossed US$1.0-billion mark for the first time in 2013 following a significant rise in the shipment of garment products despite having safeguard measures there. Increased shipments of some other products including non-knitted products, jute yarn and ceramics also helped enhance Bangladesh's earnings from Turkey, a statement issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday. According to the statement, exports grew by more than 31 per cent in 2013 compared to that of 2012. The bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $1.2 billion showing the trade in favour of Bangladesh.


Citing TURKSTATE (Turkish Statistical Institute), it said, during the calendar year of 2013, Turkey's export to Bangladesh was $196 million while it imported products from Bangladesh worth $809 million. In 2013, Bangladesh exported non-knit garment worth $542 million, knit items $238 million, jute yarn $183.5 million and ceramics $11million.
 

Source: The Financial Express (6th Feb, 2014)

 

 
 January 2014

 

Export earnings grow by 17pc in 6 months Significant rise in RMG shipment
Prospects of boosting cotton production bright in Rajshahi

Warehousing facility for Uzbek cotton

Facing competition in RMG export sector

Chittagong port can be a regional hub

Turkey overtakes China as biggest US cotton buyer

WTO chief expects resolution of US-Brazil cotton feud
Chinese company to invest $22m in Ishwardi EPZ

 

 

Export earnings grow by 17pc in 6 months Significant rise in RMG shipment

The country's export earnings, during the first half of the current fiscal year of 2013-14 fiscal, grew by about 17 per cent with shipment of readymade garments (RMG) showing a significant increase. The overall export earnings rose to $14.68 billion in the first six months of the FY 2013-14 from $12.59 billion in the corresponding period of FY 2012-13, according to the official data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). The earnings also exceeded the target by 3.08 per cent set for the period. The single month earnings in December 2013 stood at $2.72 billion, reflecting a 10.54 per cent growth over December 2012. The earnings also surpassed the target by 4.06 per cent. Government officials and garment manufacturers have termed the growth as satisfactory considering the overall present situation including political turmoil and the recent incidents in apparel sector that have drawn huge sharp criticism abroad. Earnings from knit products stood at $5.94 billion marking a growth of 19.55 per cent, which also surpassed the target by 10.02 per cent during the July-December period of fiscal year of 2013-14, according to the EPB data. Woven products fetched $5.98 billion showing a growth of 20.37per cent. The earnings also crossed the target by 1.90 per cent during the same period of the current fiscal, according to data. The EBP data also showed that export of jute and jute goods and home textiles witnessed negative growth of 17.10 per cent and 6.30 per cent respectively during the July-December period of 2013-14. Earnings from leather and leather goods, frozen food, pharmaceuticals and footwear grew by 43.61 per cent, 29.60 per cent, 30.27 per cent, 34.76 per cent and 35.49 per cent during the period.
 

Source: The Financial Express (10 Jan 2014)
 

Prospects of boosting cotton production bright in Rajshahi

Prospect of boosting cotton production in the region is bright as its topography and climatic condition suitable for the cash crop. By dint of the positive scenario, the cotton farming has been gaining popularity among farmers as they are getting more money from the cultivation than any other crop. Acreage of the crop is gradually increasing in the region comprising Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore and partly in Pabna for the last couple of years. Farmers have started replacing the paddy and sugarcane cultivation lands with cotton farming because it requires less investment and less labor. Abdus Sattar Mian, a farmer of Khorda Govindapur village, said most of the farmers cultivate some varieties like CB-12 and three-hybrid varieties-Rupli-1 and DM 1 and 2. Monirul Haque, another farmer of village Bazubagha, said that he has brought 4 bighas of land under cotton cultivation and he is expecting Taka 70 thousand from his output. He observed that the cotton production could be enhanced to a greater extent if necessary measures were adopted and due importance was given to the sector. "Government attention is very much needed to proper exposure of the sector's potentialities."

 

Source: BSS, Rajshahi (6 Jan 2014)
 

Warehousing facility for Uzbek cotton

 

The proposed deal between Bangladesh and Uzbekistan on providing warehousing facility for Uzbek cotton has reportedly run into a snag. Initially, the idea that was broached by Uzbekistan in a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), struck a note of facilitation for Bangladesh's textile sector. The Uzbek proposal was about creating a hub by way of free warehousing facility in Bangladesh for its cotton trade in the region, including meeting the requirements of local textile mills. In the draft MoU sent to the government of Bangladesh, Uzbekistan wanted a provision for establishing a free warehouse to facilitate selling of cotton to the Bangladeshi users and export to other countries in the region. The draft also envisaged an estimated export of around two hundred thousand tons of raw cotton annually to Bangladesh. The proposal was initiated in May 2012, when Dhaka and Tashkent agreed to sign a cotton supply agreement.


The government, in the meanwhile, has sat with the stakeholders including, among others, the National Board of Revenue (NBR), the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to discuss the pros and cons of the proposal. Apparently, the availability of cotton locally from such a warehouse without having to count on lead-time appears to facilitate the country's textile mills and eventually its garment factories. But the proposed deal involves issues that should be critically looked into. One of the issues is whether such warehousing facility would be confined to Uzbek cotton only. If so, would it serve more to facilitate Uzbekistan in marketing its cotton in the region? The prospect for Bangladeshi textile manufacturers getting cotton at the doorstep may not be as smooth as it apparently seems, because the scope for creating a monopoly in that case can not be ruled out.


To feed the country's textile mills, Bangladesh does need cotton, and an alternative to imports is neccessary, as it would save a lead-time of 20-30 days. Bangladesh currently imports around four million bales of cotton annually from the USA, India, Pakistan, Australia, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries. It has been reported that Uzbekistan meets more than 33 per cent of Bangladesh's current annual demand. However, not all imports from Uzbekistan are direct, and as a result of import through third country sources, the prices are high. Providing free warehousing facilities for Uzbek cotton is likely to render the price cheaper, besides cutting the lead-time.
 

Source: The Financial Express (5 Jan 2014)

 

Facing competition in RMG export sector

With the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility set to be given to Pakistan by the European Union (EU) from January 01 next, Bangladesh is most likely to face yet another hurdle to maintaining its position as a lucrative source of procurement, particularly of apparel items, for the EU buyers. One more country will join the market that may squeeze Bangladesh's exports. A FE report published last Saturday said Pakistan is likely to take a larger share of Bangladesh's apparel export orders enjoying similar duty- and quota-free status. Pakistan is otherwise likely to enjoy an upper hand because it is a cotton producer while its backward linkage industry is also reportedly strong. It is thus expected to gain in areas of exports of other products, too, as the EU on December 12 granted it GSP plus status, giving preferential duty access for a total of 3,500 products including textiles. Pakistan will sell its products in the 27 countries that form the EU under such facilities. Thanks to the resilience of Bangladeshi garment manufacturers, the country has so far belied the speculations of all skeptics and Bangladesh's readymade garments (RMG) sector, despite the recession in most of the developed economies, has maintained its growth momentum. Even in the US, Bangladesh made headway after paying a sizeable amount of duties as apparels were outside the American GSP facility for this country. The products of other countries have not been able to prove their competitiveness and efficiency matching those of the Bangladesh apparel sector. The prices of Bangladesh's apparel items are low because the buyers have so long paid less to its exporters. This came to light when global brands were negotiating with the members of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) on how they could bail the country's RMG industry out of a crisis. Bangladesh faced such a crisis due to the Tazreen Fashions fire and the Rana Plaza collapse that killed over 1,200 workers.
 

Source: The Financial Express (31 December 2013)

 

Chittagong port can be a regional hub

Economists, analysts and experts have through their studies underscored the importance of using Chittagong port as a regional hub and transit port for its immediate and distant neighbors. Public opinions about the transit issue, which has remained politically sensitive over the years, have also been weighed. A section of political leaders in the opposition camp has seen the transit issue as threat to the nation's security and sovereignty while those in the ruling alliance have favored. The experts and economic analysts have always been favoring the issue for greater national interest. Chittagong port has the potential to serve as a regional gateway to the global trade. If used efficiently through regional cooperation, Chittagong port can become the "golden goose" of Bangladesh, economists said. Besides, 40 per cent of the heavy industrial activities of the country are located in Chittagong city and its adjacent areas. They include oil refinery, shipbuilding yards, ship breaking yards, Chittagong Dry Dock, power plants, cement clinker factories, chemical plants, jute and textile mills etc. As regards geopolitical-strategic importance of Chittagong and Bangladesh, the country is situated between two emerging economic powers like China and India. Bangladesh with an area of 1, 44,000 square kilometer is located at the northeastern part of South East Asia that serves as habitat for 20 per cent of the total humanity of the world. Except for a small length of border with Myanmar to the southeast, Bangladesh is surrounded on three sides by India.
 

Source: The Financial Express (30 December 2013)

 

 

Turkey overtakes China as biggest US cotton buyer

Turkey has overtaken China as the biggest buyer of US cotton, US data showed on Friday, as Chinese buyers have boosted their purchases of lower-taxed yarn and cut back on buying raw cotton. Continuing a five-months-long trend since the Aug. 1 start of the 2013/14 crop marketing season, data for the week to December 19 showed Turkey was the top buyer. It bought 83,400 bales of upland cotton, double that of China. Turkey's renewed appetite for US fibre has been a pocket of strength as US traders and growers worry that a decision by Beijing, reported on Friday, to dismantle its three-year stockpiling program will erode foreign demand and hurt prices.

Source: Reuters (Dec 28 2013)

WTO chief expects resolution of US-Brazil cotton feud

BRASOLIA, Dec 20 (AFP): World Trade Organization (WTO) chief Roberto Azevedo said yesterday he expected Brazil and the United States to reach a deal on their cotton dispute. Brazil's foreign trade council Camex on Wednesday said it would hold public consultations next month before deciding if it will apply cotton sanctions in protest at US subsidies. The two countries reached agreement on the issue in 2010 but Camex said it was preparing the ground for "possible application of sanctions," a move which won the approval of Brazil's National Industry Confederation (CNI). In 2009, the WTO, in a rare move, allowed Brazil to take cross-retaliatory measures worth $830 million in response to US subsidies to American cotton producers, ruling they were discriminatory.

Source: AFP (Dec 20 2013)

Chinese company to invest $22m in Ishwardi EPZ

China is going to set up a spinning and textile industry in Ishwardi EPZ. This company will be known as M/s Asia Spinning and Textile Mills Limited. The fully foreign owned company will invest US$ 22 million for setting up their plant with annual production capacity of 19,000 tons of Yarn and 6,000 Yds of Fabrics. Asia Spinning and Textile Mills will create employment opportunity for 1,450 Bangladeshi nationals. In this connection, an agreement was inked on Tuesday between the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) and M/s Asia Spinning and Textile Mills in the capital, reports BSS.
 

Source: The Financial Express (19 December 2013)

 

 
 October 2013

 

Focus on modern branding strategy for RMG sector

21.24 per cent rise in export earnings in three months

Safer environment in RMG factories MoU inked

Freight forwarders to hike charges from Oct 1

India withdraws export incentives for cotton, yarn

Textile sector posts hefty gain

Cotton import deal with Uzbekistan to be finalized

 

 

Focus on modern branding strategy for RMG sector

 

Speakers at a seminar called for developing a modern communication strategy Tuesday in order to brand Bangladesh as the producer of quality apparel items.


They also laid emphasis on ensuring labor rights and other compliance-related issues for greater sustainability of the country's readymade garment (RMG) sector. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) jointly organized the seminar, titled 'Taking the RMG sector forward - the role of media in sustainable development' at a city hotel. It was organized as part of the upcoming 24th BATEXPO (Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition) 2013.Ambassador of The Netherlands to Bangladesh Gerben de Jong was the chief guest of the seminar, with BGMEA President Md Atiqul Islam in the chair. Mr Jong stressed on three major tasks of the RMG business -following international rules, developing good collaborative measures with stakeholders, and implementing effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy.
 

Source: The Financial Express (09 October 2013)

 

21.24 per cent rise in export earnings in three months

Significant growth in garment shipment

The country's export earnings witnessed a robust 21.24 per cent rise in the July-September period of the current fiscal year (FY) of 2013-14 compared to that of the corresponding period of last fiscal. The rise was attributed to a significant growth in the shipment of readymade garments. The overall export earnings stood at $7.26 billion during the first three months of 2013-14 fiscal, according to the provisional figures of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). During the same period of FY 2012-13, the country's merchandise shipment stood at $6.29 billion.
However, the single month export earnings in September 2013 registered a 36.26 per cent growth to reach $2.59 billion against $1.90 billion in September 2012, according to the provisional data. Of the total export earnings; knitwear items fetched $3.16 billion in July-September period of the current fiscal, registering a 24.43 per cent growth. On the other hand, exports earnings from woven garments also rose by 23.89 per cent to $3.04 billion during the same period. Export earnings from knit items stood at $1.25 billion in July, $848.25 million in August and $1.05 billion in September this year respectively. Similarly, woven items fetched $1.26 billion in July, $796.05 million in August and $985.26 million in September in 2013 respectively.


Source: The Financial Express (09 October 2013)

 

Safer environment in RMG factories MoU inked

 

BB Governor Dr Atiur Rahman addressing the MoU signing ceremony among JICA, Ministry of Housing and Public Works, BB, BGMEA and BKMEA Thursday under which a safer working environment in the vulnerable readymade garment (RMG) and knitwear factories in Bangladesh will be established. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth Tk 1.0 billion in loan and technical support from JICA was signed Thursday to build a safer working environment in the vulnerable readymade garment (RMG) and knitwear factories in Bangladesh. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Bangladesh Bank (BB), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) jointly signed the MoU at a city hotel. Under the MoU, each vulnerable factory will get up to Tk 100 million based on its safety assessment reports, officials said. Japanese experts will provide the building assessment support under "RMG Sector Safe Working Environment Program" initiated in the MoU following the Rana Plaza disaster. Now, the BB will issue an official circular to the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) that will receive applications from the RMG and knitwear sectors for the loan. All implementation is responsible under the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), SME and Special Program Department of the central bank, its officials said.
 

Source: The Financial Express (04 October 2013)

 


Freight forwarders to hike charges from Oct 1

Stakeholders oppose 'whimsical' step

 

The country's freight forwarders are set to raise their service charges, applied to imports, by 75 per cent to Tk 3500 each consignment from October 1 amid opposition from the stakeholders, especially from garment manufacturers. It earlier wanted to implement the charge hike from September 1 last. It has deferred the decision by one month, as the stakeholders opposed it. The ready-made garment (RMG) industry, the country's largest industrial sector in export earnings, is opposing the hike in freight forwarding charges, popularly called NOC (no objection certificate), saying this would raise the import cost of fabrics and other accessories. There are nearly 800 freight forwarders in operation in the country. They got their operating licenses from the government in 2009.

 

Source: The Financial Express (28 September 2013)
 

 

India withdraws export incentives for cotton, yarn

 


India has withdrawn incentives for exports of cotton and yarn, a value-added product used by textile mills, an official order said, a move that could cut exporters' margins in the world's second-biggest exporter of the fiber. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), a unit of the trade ministry, did not give any reason for withdrawing the incentives. Together the benefit of the government's Focus Market Scheme and Incremental Export Incentivisation Scheme on cotton yarn comes to around 4 per cent of the free-on-board value of exports, according to Industry body the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI). Currently there is no cap on cotton and cotton yarn exports but exporters need to register shipments with the DGFT. CITI urged the government to restore export benefits."India is the most competitive yarn producer in the world at present and, therefore, there are increasing export opportunities opening up for our cotton yarn," Prem Malik, chairman of the CITI, said in a statement. Trade commitments for cotton yarn exports rose more than 26 per cent in August from a year earlier, data from the DGFT showed, mainly due to rising demand from China, India's biggest client. However, exports of raw cotton are seen down at 10 million bales in 2012/13 from 12.9 million bales a year ago. India, also the world's second-largest cotton grower, is forecast to produce record 35.3 million bales, against 34 million bales a year ago.
 

Source: Reuters (26 September 2013)

 

 

Textile sector posts hefty gain

 

The market ended flat Tuesday, after three consecutive losing sessions as pressure from foreign diplomats on political parties to ease up crisis somewhat persisted."The news of High Court's repeal of postponement order on RN Spinning Mill's dividend declaration attracted some of the investors to buy it and thus made a spike in textile sector's turnover and return," analysts said. Three issues from the textile sector featured in the top ten turnover's chart including RN Spinning Mills, accumulating the highest ---Tk 505.82 million worth of turnover. The other two are Square Textile and Tallu Spinning. Overall, the textile sector accounted for one fourth of the total market turnover and also posted a hefty gain of 3.81 per cent.
 

Source: The Financial Express (11 September 2013)
 


New Canadian tariff won't affect Bangladesh RMG exporters

 

Bangladesh as a least developed country (LDC) would not be affected following imposition of general preferential tariff (GPT) by Canada, said Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Heather Crudden. "The GPT would be modernizedby graduating 72 higher-income and trade competitive countries as of January 01, 2015. As an LDC, Bangladesh is unaffected by these changes since it is eligible for duty-free access under the LDC tariff," she said Saturday. MsCrudden was speaking at a seminar on 'Bangladesh Canada Trade and Economic Relations' jointly organized by the Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI) and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) held in the city. Canada would take steps to ensure that the benefits of the LDCT are not reduced by the changes to the GPT, MsCruden said adding this means the LDCT rules of origin requirements will be amended so that apparel producers will continue to benefit from duty-free access to Canada while using textile inputs from current GPT countries like China and India. She suggested the exporters to study and understand consumer trends and maintain their competitive advantage to be successful in the Canadian market. She said though Bangladesh has made strong progress in various areas, the current political instability is causing some companies to question whether they should diversify their risks and move out of Bangladesh. "This could be very damaging in the medium and long-term for Bangladesh.
 

Source: The Financial Express (01 September 2013)

 

Cotton import deal with Uzbekistan to be finalized

 

Bangladesh is about to finalize a deal to import cotton from Uzbekistan aiming to ensure supply of 200,000 tons of the commodity annually for the local textile industry, sources said. The two countries already exchanged the draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), which is now under scrutiny, they said.


Uzbekistan is the sixth largest cotton producer in the world with 4.6 million bales produced in 2011.Bangladesh is also holding talks with India for getting 1.5 million bales of cotton a year. The country's yearly requirement of cotton is nearly 4.0 million bales of which 0.12 million bales are produced locally. Rest of the demand -- nearly 98 per cent -- is being met by importing it from various countries. Every year, Bangladesh imports nearly 0.9 million bales of cotton from India, the second largest producer of the item globally. The other sources from where Bangladesh imports cotton are Africa, the USA, Australia, Pakistan and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). A senior Commerce Ministry official said about 35 per cent of total cotton import comes from Uzbekistan, a CIS member."Since Uzbekistan is a major source of cotton for us, we want to make the import process easier and uninterrupted. So, we are finalizing the draft of the MoU for signing as soon as possible."Sources said Bangladesh and Uzbekistan have agreed for cooperation on various bilateral trade issues including cotton supply in a meeting of the Joint Working Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation held in Tashkent in May 2012.

 

Source: The Financial Express (05 August 2013)

 
 JULY 2013

 

US won't restrict Bangladesh RMG imports

Bangladesh a golden gate of opportunities for Indian businesses, says CII

Dutch minister for joint efforts to improve safety issue, labor rights in Bangladesh RMG sector

Healthy growth in container handling at Chittagong Port recorded

BTMA, BKMEA want lifting of duty on pet chips
Norwegian support in promoting B'desh branding in textile industry confirmed
Government owes Tk. 5.55 billion as cash incentives to jute exporters

Canadian Loblaw outlines plan to help RMG workers

Swiss free trade deal underscores China's globalization: Li

Bangladesh, Thailand prepare action plan to double mutual trade by 2016
 

 

US won't restrict Bangladesh RMG imports

WASHINGTON, Jun 28: The United States has no plans to restrict clothing imports from Bangladesh to put additional pressure on that country to improve safety conditions for workers, the top U.S. trade official said Thursday. US Trade Representative Mike Froman told reporters he hoped that suspending U.S. trade benefits on a number of non-textile goods would be enough to encourage the Bangladeshi government to make needed reforms.

Source: Reuters



Bangladesh a golden gate of opportunities for Indian businesses, says CII

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has described Bangladesh as a golden gate of opportunities for Indian businesses, according to a report of the Delhi-based news agency Asian News International (ANI) Friday. "Bangladesh is a winning combination of competitive market, business-friendly environment and competitive cost structure," the news agency quoted CII past president and Chairman, Godrej Group, Adi Godrej as telling a conference of officials and businesses of the two countries in Mumbai on the day. The risk factors for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) are minimum in Bangladesh and the country has consistently grown at 6.0 per sent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) over the past years, he said. "Bangladesh offers a well educated, highly adaptive and industrious workforce with the lowest labor cost in the region," Mr Godrej was quoted further by ANI. It offers the most liberal FDI regime in South Asia allowing 100 per cent foreign equity ownership with unrestricted exit policy, remittance of royalty and repatriation of equity and dividend, Mr Godrej said further. In addition to this, Bangladesh enjoys duty-free access to India, European Union, Canada and Japan and is an attractive destination for potential exporters.

Source: The Financial Express (29 June 2013)


Dutch minister for joint efforts to improve safety issue, labor rights in Bangladesh RMG sector


Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Ms Lilianne Ploumen has asserted for joint efforts to improve safety standards and labor rights in disaster-hit Bangladesh garment sector. "It (recent disasters) signals the political urgency to act and to take our responsibility each in improving the labor conditions and safety in the garment factories of Bangladesh," Ms Ploumen told a joint news conference with her Bangladesh counterpart Commerce Minister Ghulam Muhammed Quader on Sunday. The Dutch minister said she did not want that buyers of her country stop sourcing their merchandise from Bangladesh rather they support the garment industry of the country to improve safety measure with decent wages for the workers. "Improving safety standard in factories and protection of labor rights are our national responsibilities. We are dedicated to address these issues with the cooperation of all stakeholders," Commerce Minister Mr. Quader told the joint news conference. Lauding the efforts of the government and local groups in addressing the issue that has been focused after the recent deadly building collapse, the Netherlands foreign trade minister said the ongoing joint efforts should find the gaps avoiding overlapping. She said that she firmly believes that trade could help alleviate poverty, when the trading companies on both sides of the supply chain act according to the norms of corporate social responsibilities.

Source: The Financial Express (17 June 2013)


Healthy growth in container handling at Chittagong Port recorded
Negligible effect of Eurozone crisis on Bangladesh


The container handling performance by Chittagong Port showed an 8.13 per cent growth in 11 months ending in May of the outgoing fiscal year (FY) 2012-13 mainly due to rise in import and export cargoes, according to official data released Tuesday. The number of containers handled was 99,343 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) more, total at 1.32 million TEUs, during the period. During the July-May period of FY2011-12, the port handled 1,222,060 TEUs. In the last fiscal year, the port showed a negative 3.0 per cent growth in container handling in its recent history. But, in 2010-11 fiscal, it grew more than 21 per cent, according to the official data. Port officials said, in FY 2012-13, the container handling continuously showed positive growth, despite lack of growth in economic environment mainly in the 27-member Eurozone, the largest export destination of Bangladesh.

Source: The Financial Express (12 June 2013)
 

Budget reactions
BTMA, BKMEA want lifting of duty on pet chips

The apex bodies of textile and apparel sectors - Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) - have given mixed reactions to the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2013-14. In its budget reaction, BTMA urged the government to review some of the measures proposed in the budget, including withdrawal of tax and duty on imported chips and pet-chips used for synthetic filament yarn and increasing cash incentive to 15 per cent from the existing 5.0 per cent. "We are very frustrated that the proposed budget did not withdraw the tax and duty on imported chips and pet-chips which are not produced in the country," the BTMA statement said. Prices of these raw materials have been increasing during the last two-three years, and textile and garment produced by synthetic filament yarn are used for both local and export purposes, it said. The association requested the government to withdraw the tax and duty on the imported raw materials, saying these would further increase their import and production cost. It also urged the government to increase the cash subsidy for the sector to 15 per cent from the existing 5.0 per cent. BTMA's demands also included withdrawal of all tax and duty on bus bar system to avert fire at industrial units. However, it appreciated the Tk 25.92 billion subsidies for export-oriented sectors, and Tk 4.65 billion allocations for development of Mongla Port. BKMEA also hailed the proposals of reducing custom duty on import of fire extinguisher to 5.0 per cent from 12 per cent and customs duty on capital machinery to 2.0 per cent from 3.0 per cent.

Source: The Financial Express (08 June 2013)

$ 2.5m donation deal signed
Norwegian support in promoting B'desh branding in textile industry confirmed

Visiting Norwegian Minister for International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmĺs confirmed Monday his government's support in promoting the Bangladesh branding in the textile industry. He also called upon all to bear the responsibilities with dedication to come out of the image crisis after the Rana Plaza incident. He said Bangladesh brand in the industry needs to be maintained as a strong band for a better future for the sector's workers ensuring that it is a safe place for them to go and work. The Norwegian minister was speaking at a ceremony of agreement signing to provide his government's donation worth approximately $ 2.5 million for promoting workers' rights and labor relations in the export-oriented industry, particularly in readymade garment (RMG) of Bangladesh. Heikki Eidsvoll Holmĺs and International Labor Organization (ILO) Country Office Director Srinivas Reddy signed the agreement. The money would be spent through ILO in building capacity for the betterment of the workers in export-oriented sectors including garments, leather and shrimp industries in Bangladesh. It will also be utilized to facilitate building the capacity of laborers to earn the rights of forming union as per the ILO standard, freedom of association and collective bargaining.
The minister said Norway's import of Bangladeshi RMG has increased during the last 10 years and the trend would also continue in the coming years adding that for that reason, the incident of Rana Plaza matters to the Norwegian people. The ILO country director said the Norwegian support directly contributes to the commitments so far made on fire safety and workers' rights after Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza incident, on workers' education and training of mid-level supervisors and managers on occupational safety and health and fundamental principles and rights at work.

Source: The Financial Express (04 June 2013)

Government owes Tk. 5.55 billion as cash incentives to jute exporters

The government's debt to jute exporters as cash incentives rose to more than Tk 5.55 billion taking into account the amounts of four fiscal years - FY '10 to FY '13 - which is creating a liquidity crisis in the sector. Sources said the exporters have sought Tk 10.55 billion budgetary allocations from the ministry of finance (MoF) for their incentives. The total debt of the government to jute exporters as cash incentives will come to Tk 5.55 billion in the outgoing fiscal, Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) official data revealed. The entrepreneurs including spinners, raw jute exporters, and jute goods exporters are yet to get the cash incentives of the four fiscal years. According to the BJSA, in FY '10, the government allocated Tk 3.0 billion for cash subsidy whereas they were supposed get Tk 3.93 billion. In FY '11, Bangladesh exported goods worth nearly Tk 53 billion and considering the 10 per cent incentive; the sector was to get Tk 5.3 billion against the government allocation of Tk 3.0 billion. The trend continued in the following fiscal years and the exporters were to get above Tk 0.81 billion and Tk 1.5 billion in FY '12 and FY '13 respectively. The MoTJ recommended for Tk 10.55 billion allocation in the supplementary budget for FY '13 or in the next budget for FY '14 to meet the debts and cash incentive for the next fiscal year. The sector fetched US$ 860 million in exports with a growth of 6.7 per cent in the first ten months (July-April) of the outgoing fiscal. Total target of shipment for the current fiscal year is $ 1,086 million.

Source: The Financial Express (04 June 2013)

Canadian Loblaw outlines plan to help RMG workers

The Canadian Loblaw Cos. Ltd. further outlined plans Tuesday to create better protections for readymade garment (RMG) workers in Bangladesh and reaffirmed the commitment to remain in the country, a Canadian television network has reported. The television network quoted Robert Chant, senior vice-president for corporate affairs at the country's largest food retailer, as saying: "Our approach is a combination of actions specific to Loblaw and some related to our participation in broader initiatives." The plans include direct financial assistance to injured workers and families of the Rana Plaza victims - though Loblaw has yet to specify how much it will spend; rehabilitation efforts for injured workers and a joint program with Save the Children Canada and Save the Children Bangladesh to "provide life skills and workplace support for garment industry workers and their families," the report said. The company also reaffirmed its commitment to a pact with other international retailers such as Benetton and H&M, among others, to have Western firms source garments from regularly inspected individual factories, and to make the reports public. The group would cover Restoration costs on factories, with each member contributing $500,000 annually to the effort. The agreement, called the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, is a five-year, legally binding contract between the major retailers.

Source: The Financial Express (30 May 2013)

Swiss free trade deal underscores China's globalization: Li

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang yesterday hailed a free trade deal with Switzerland as a landmark achievement, saying it had "huge meaning" for global trade and underscored Beijing's growing openness to the world. "This free trade deal is the first between China and a continental European economy, and the first with one of the 20 leading economies of the globe," Li told reporters after the two countries inked a preliminary agreement, paving the way for a final signature in Beijing in July. Li said the implications of the Swiss deal would be felt well beyond the Alpine nation's borders. "China, a country with a vast population and huge currency reserves, is increasingly internationalizing," he underlined, adding that Beijing's strategy of openness was paying dividends. Swiss President Ueli Maurer dubbed the agreement a "real milestone". Bilateral trade between Switzerland and China was worth $26.3 billion in 2012, with a full $22.8 billion of that figure represented by Swiss exports to China.

Source: AFP (26 May 2013)

 

 

Bangladesh, Thailand prepare action plan to double mutual trade by 2016

Bangladesh and Thailand have prepared a focus action plan aiming to double their mutual trade by 2016, a high trade official said. Under the action plan, Bangladesh and Thailand will work jointly to gearing up ties between the businessmen of the two countries. "Thailand has expressed its interest to invest in Bangladesh in the infrastructure development, textiles, food processing, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, setting up agro- based industry and development of power sector," Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told the FE Wednesday. The decision was taken at the 3rd Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting between Bangladesh and Thailand held from May 14- 15, 2013 in Bangkok. Commerce Minister Ghulam Muhammed Quader led the eight-member Bangladesh delegation while Co- chairman of JTC and also the commerce minister of Thailand Boonsong Teriyapirm led his country. The commerce secretary who attended the meeting with the commerce minister said that the two countries have also formed Joint Working Group (JWG) with the representation of the experts, giving emphasis on working in five preferential sectors. He said that under the focus action plan, Thailand also agreed in principle to give duty free and quota free market access of some specific Bangladeshi products to its markets. The volume of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Thailand was US $ 1.2 billion during the calendar year 2011 which was 38 per cent higher than 2010. But the volume of bilateral trade decreased slightly during the calendar year 2012.

Source: The Financial Express (24 May 2013)

 

 April 2013

 

Diplomatic efforts save $ 1.0b RMG export to Canada
Govt. to give incentives to overseas employment sector
BGMEA to send delegation to Canada to resolve GPT issue
Vow to work together
Prospects of boosting cotton yield bright in Rajshahi region
China to increase state cotton sales next month

New BGMEA leaders take charge
Pakistan's textile exports increase by 6.55pc in eight months
India's cotton imports seen lower than estimated
BD, Czech Republic agree to set up JTC to boost trade, investment

Ship transported on board another ship: a milestone for Chittagong Port

Chittagong port to set up container scanner

BGMEA sign deals with BADAS, STEP

 

 

Diplomatic efforts save $ 1.0b RMG export to Canada

Bangladesh's diplomatic efforts and constant lobbying have saved readymade garments (RMG) export worth 1.0 billion dollar to Canada and paved the way for future export, an official handout said Thursday. The Parliament of Canada has recently decided to amend the relevant criteria in the review of the General Preferential Tariff (GPT) and the Rules of Origin, it said. This landmark decision has culminated into a safeguard for the existing one billion dollar export from Bangladesh to Canada and future growth in the apparel sector.
 

April 05, 2013


Govt. to give incentives to overseas employment sector
BBS to conduct survey on use of remittance

Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain said the government will provide incentives for improvement of overseas employment sector and ensure proper utilization of earnings from the sector. The minister said: "The government gives Tk. 50 billion incentives to readymade garments (RMG) sector, export earning of which is five times lesser than the remittance earning." "Why won't the government give incentives for development of the overseas employment sector that is bringing remittance to the country almost without any investment?" He said earnings of the Bangladeshi expatriate workers officially contribute 11.1 per cent to the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) organized the workshop, titled 'Questionnaire of the Survey on the Use of Remittance - 2013', at its office in the city. The BBS is going to conduct the survey in the country for the first time. The main objective of the survey is to collect accurate and detailed data on the uses of remittance income to help policymakers formulate better economic and development policies. The minister informed that Bangladesh has received US$ 48.07 billion remittance during the four years of the present government.
 

04 April 2013

 

 

BGMEA to send delegation to Canada to resolve GPT issue

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is likely to send a delegation to Canada for persuasion and discussion to neutralize or counterbalance the impact of GPT (General Preferential Tariff) review on the LDCs' (Least Developed Countries') duty-free apparel exports to the country. For the first time in 39 years, Canada is updating its preferential tariff regime, increasing tariffs on more than 1,000 items imported from some 72 countries from which Bangladeshi RMG (ready-made garment) might be seriously affected. Though Canada is not going to withdraw Bangladesh from its list of GPT facility, its Department of Finance is proposing that preferential duty status be taken away from goods shipped directly to Canada from 72 countries including China and India from where Bangladesh imports most RMG raw materials. According to BGMEA, Bangladesh's exports to Canada will be significantly affected by the proposed review, as the former imports 80 per cent of its raw materials of RMG, including cotton and fabric, from China and India, which are in the GPT withdrawal list. Bangladesh's persuasion is to keep India in the list or take any other alternative measure as Canada's present rules of origin (RoO) for the LDCs is: An LDC will enjoy the duty-free facility, if it imports raw materials from the GPT-enjoying countries. "We are working together with government authorities concerned, ministries, Canadian High Commission in Dhaka, Canadian officials and buyers to resolve the issue so that Bangladesh is not affected anyhow," said Atiqul Islam, newly elected President of BGMEA.
 

02 April 2013
 

BGMEA leaders hold joint meet
Vow to work together

CHITTAGONG, Apr 2: The newly-elected first vice president of BGMEA and other members of Chittagong region have taken charge of the leadership at a joint meeting at the regional office in the city. Leaders of both the outgoing and new committees have vowed to work together for the progress of the readymade garment (RMG) industry and work out plans for more welfare of the workers and employees of the sector. The directors of the new and outgoing committees exchanged views on a wide range of issues relating to the problems faced by the sector that plays very vital role for national economy.
First Vice President Nasir Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury lauded the role played by outgoing first vice president Nasir Uddin Chowdhury and other directors. He assured the meeting that steps taken by the outgoing committee for the betterment of the factory workers would continue. "The industry's situation in Chittagong region was much better than that in other parts of the country over the last few years. We are committed to maintaining peace and regulation in the factories and working for addressing the problems faced by the industry," Mr. Ahmed said.


03 April 2013

 


Prospects of boosting cotton yield bright in Rajshahi region


Prospect of boosting cotton production in the region is bright as its topography and climatic condition suitable for the cash crop. By dint of the positive scenario, the cotton farming has been gaining popularity among farmers as they are getting more money from the cultivation than any other crop. Acreage of the crop is gradually increasing in the region comprising Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore and partly in Pabna for the last couple of years. Farmers have started replacing the paddy and sugarcane cultivation lands with cotton farming because it requires less investment and less labor.
Abdus Sattar Mian, a farmer of Khorda Govindapur village, said most of the farmers cultivate some varieties like CB-12 and three hybrid varieties-Rupli-1 and DM 1 and 2. Jahangir Alam, Cotton Development Officer said, 'We help the cotton farmers in procuring seeds, making land, nurturing of crop. If the weather is favorable a bumper production will be achieved in the current season'. Mostofa Kamal, Chief Cotton Development Officer, here said a total of 1,578 hectares of land has been brought under cotton cultivation in the region this year with an output target of around 10,000 bales. In last 2011-12 fiscal year, 6,736 bales were harvested from 1408 hectares of arable land. Considering the demand of the country's textile industries, the local cotton growers can meet only a meager 3-5 per cent of the annual demand and the rest is met through import.
 

28 March 2013


China to increase state cotton sales next month

China, the world's top cotton consumer, will increase sales from state reserves of the fiber from April, in a bid to boost dwindling domestic supply, a government official said in a speech published Wednesday. To help meet demand from textile mills, Beijing will step up sales from its bulging reserves, particularly of high-quality cotton, beginning in April, Li Yan of the country's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, told a meeting on Tuesday, but gave no further details. Cotton supplies have been under pressure as a result of China's controversial state stockpiling policy, which has seen the government buy nearly 10 million tons, or about 60 per cent of global cotton stocks, since 2011. Plans for sales by China and India, the world's largest producers of cotton, put New York prices under pressure last week. A four-day slide in prices ended on Tuesday, as reports of new import quotas in China helped buoy the market. The domestic supply squeeze could worsen this year with China's cotton acreage expected to fall to its lowest in a decade, Gao Fang, an official of the China Cotton Association, said in a speech posted on its website (www.china-cotton.org). Chinese farmers are likely to grow 6.8 per cent less cotton this year, with the sowing area expected to fall below 4.67 million hectares, it's lowest since 2002, Gao said.
 

27 March 2013

 

New BGMEA leaders take charge

The newly-elected office bearers of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) headed by Atiqul Islam took charge Monday. Earlier, the 30th AGM (Annual General Meeting) of the apparel trade lobbyists' group BGMEA was held at the BGMEA auditorium. Outgoing BGMEA president Shafiul Islam presided over the first session of the AGM while newly-elected president Atiqul Islam presided over the concluding session of the AGM. The AGM approved the budget of the association for the year 2013. Speaking at the charge handing-over program, new President Atiqul Islam said strengthening and consolidating the supply chain (smooth supply of products from factory premises to retail store), developing infrastructure, resolving gas and electricity crises, reducing bank interest rate and ensuring fire safety and compliance issues will be his areas of priority. He said their goal is to serve the industry by removing all the barriers, pursuing, and lobbying with the government for its further development and designing policies to ensure a business-friendly environment.
 

26 March 2013


Pakistan's textile exports increase by 6.55pc in eight months

Textile exports from Pakistan grew by 6.55 per cent during the first eight months of current fiscal year (2012-13) as against the same period of last year. The overall textile exports were recorded at $8.483 billion during July- February (2012-13) against $7.962 billion during July-February (2011-12), according to data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The main contributor to positive growth of the textile exports was cotton yarn, whose export surged by 31.27 per cent. Other textile commodities that witnessed positive growth included cotton cloth with 11.77 per cent increase and yarn (other than cotton yarn) with 5.08 per cent increase and knitwear by 2.29 per cent. During the period under review, the export of towels increased by 15.56 per cent, tents, canvas and tarpaulin by 34.22 per cent, readymade garments by 8.76 per cent, made up articles (excluding towels and bed linens) by 6.04 per cent and other textile materials by 47.41 per cent. The textile commodities that witnessed negative growth during the period under review included raw cotton, whose exports shrunk by 63.30 per cent and cotton carded or combed by 83.47 per cent, bed linens by 2.88 per cent, and synthetic textile by 27.60 per cent.
 

24 March 2013

 


India's cotton imports seen lower than estimated

Country's cotton imports could reach 1.5 million bales this year, falling short of industry estimates of more than 2 million, as expected sales from government stockpiles will limit the demand for overseas supplies, traders said Friday. An Indian textile industry official this month estimated that cotton imports could jump two-thirds to more than 2 million bales (340,000 tons) in 2012/13, as a seasonal output slowdown and stock building push domestic prices higher in the world's second-largest producer. But that picture could change after India said on Wednesday the state-run Cotton Corp of India would offload stocks in the open market. "India's imports are not going to be that much now, as the government is going to start selling its stockpiles," said Ritesh Agrawal, managing director of cotton trader Wisdom Cotton, based in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. On Wednesday, New York cotton prices posted their biggest daily decline in two months, as news of sales by India and China prompted investors to take profits from prices that have surged in the commodity's longest Bull Run in two years. Prices extended losses on Thursday, down about 1 per cent to a one-week low as news of the sales kept roiling the market, and were on track for a weekly drop of nearly five per cent, the steepest since October.
 

23 March 2013

 

BD, Czech Republic agree to set up JTC to boost trade, investment

Bangladesh and the Czech Republic Monday agreed to establish Joint Trade Commission (JTC) next month aiming to boost bilateral trade and investment considering the potential of the two countries.
"We have agreed to set up JTC in April, 2013 to facilitate trade and investment. We hope the first meeting of the commission will be held in December, 2013," Commerce Minister Ghulam Muhammed Quader told the media on the day after a meeting with the Czech Republic Minister of Industry and Trade (MIT) Dr Martin Kuba at the conference room of the ministry. He said the two countries have also reached a consensus on exchanging trade officials to help the mutual trade and business to move forward. The Czech Republic has also agreed to appoint an honorary consul general in Bangladesh soon.
The apex trade bodies of the two countries have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during the meeting to push the business efforts being taken by the private sectors forward.
Mentioning the outcome of bilateral discussions, the commerce minister said both the countries had strongly felt the need to move forward the issues of mutual trade and investment considering the potential of both sides. "We committed ourselves to strengthening relations between Bangladesh and the Czech Republic. I hope the economy of the two countries will perform well for the benefit of their people," he said. The trade balance is in favor of Bangladesh. In the last two years Bangladesh's export to Czech Republic has achieved a tremendous growth such as 98.13 per cent during the fiscal year (FY) 2010-11 and 107 per cent in FY 2011-12 that indicates the good export potential to the Czech Republic.
Bangladesh exported goods to Czech Republic worth US $ 66.63 million during the FY 2011-12 while imported products worth $ 15.66 million.
 

12 March 2013

 


Ship transported on board another ship: a milestone for Chittagong Port

A Danish RORO passenger ferry built by a local shipbuilder left Chittagong Port on board the German heavy lift carrier MV Baltic Winter which is seen as a milestone in the history of the maritime port. Port officials said a few small ships have been imported to the country on board heavy lift vessels but transportation of big ships by any heavy lift vessel through the port is the first of its kind.
"I should say it is a milestone for the prime maritime port of Chittagong. It is adventurous for the port and a commendable step on the part of German shipping company Rickmers-Linie GmbH," said Captain Faridul Alam, harbor master of Chittagong Port Authority. Western Marine Shipyard, one of the leading shipbuilders of the country, built the 400 tons-capacity ferry ISEF JORG for its Danish buyer at its shipyard at Patiya in Chittagong and delivered the same to the owner on February 6 last.
 

09 March 2013

 

Chittagong port to set up container scanner

Chittagong Port is going to set up mobile container scanning machine to detect explosives and illegal goods. The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has already imported the ultramodern scanning machine named 'Zed Backscatter Van (ZBV)' at a cost of Tk. 170 million from American Science and Engineering Company, CPA sources said. ZBV is a vehicle-like machine especially built for the purpose of running "mobile x-ray system for scanning cargo and vehicles". The machine, run by a driver and an operator, can be taken to any place to scan any suspicious container, vehicles or goods.
 

08 March 2013

 


BGMEA sign deals with BADAS, STEP

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Wednesday signed two agreements with Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS) and Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) to ensure health safety of RMG-sector workforce and increase their skills respectively.
Under the deal signed with BADAS, the association's network will provide health services to the employees of the BGMEA member factories. BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said: "Occupational safety is the largest challenge that the RMG sector is now facing. Workers of the sector will get access to the country's most expanded health service network through the initiative."
BADAS vice-president Barrister Rafiqul Haq said: "RMG buyers are very much concerned about workers' safety and healthcare. To ensure their safety is the demand of the time, especially after the Ashulia fire tragedy." "RMG is the country's topmost employment generating and highest foreign currency earning sector. If the garment manufacturers fail to satisfy the buyers' demands regarding the workers' health safety, they will lose orders in future," he added. Labor leaders also welcomed the move, saying the preventive measures will help both the industry and the country.
 

07 March 2013

 

 
 January 2013

 

Safety of RMG factories, BGMEA taskforce begins drive

TIB concerned over US move to review duty-free access

B'desh RMG exports defy fall in India, Pakistan

India's cotton production for 2012-13 to be around 35.5m bales

India's cotton yarn exports seen rising 20pc on Chinese demand

Bangladesh hopes to 'export $1.0b RMG to China within a few years’

Exports to US see 1.65pc growth in July-Oct

US, EC for safety measures in RMG sector

India commits to export 1.5m bales of cotton to Bangladesh annually

Pakistan's RMG exports grew by 14.59pc in four months

$10 billion Indo-Bangla trade foreseen in next two years

 


 

Safety of RMG factories, BGMEA taskforce begins drive

The taskforce formed by the apparel apex body - BGMEA -- started its inspection drive Sunday in a bid to check safety compliance in the garment units. Shah AlamZahiruddin, former president of IAB said "The taskforce will visit 10 factories initially within this week and then it will set the criteria for the factories to be inspected."The taskforce after assessment will recommend short, medium and long term preventive measures to ensure safety in garment factories."We want to ensure safety compliance in all units of garment for a sustainable industry," BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said adding till now owners are following the compliance in pressure from the buyers.The team will visit every factory to create awareness about the fire incidents among the factory owners and workers, he said adding if they find any problem, they would recommend immediate preventive measure so that there would no such recurrence of Tazreen fire incident.


December 24, 2012


TIB concerned over US move to review duty-free access

Bangladesh chapter of the Transparency International (TI) called upon the US authorities to act in a responsible manner and refrain from taking any action in the wake of the Tazreen factory fire that might adversely affect the ready-made garment (RMG) industry of the country and further victimise the workers.In a statement Saturday, Executive Director of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Iftekharuzzaman expressed concern over a reported initiative by a section of the US lawmakers to review the status of duty-free access of Bangladeshi garments to the US market in the wake of the Tazreen tragedy and said nothing in the wake of such tragedies could justify any measure that could restrict duty-free access of Bangladeshi products to the US market.According to reports in Bangladeshi and international media, reacting to the Tazreen factory fire a group of 12 lawmakers asked the US Trade Representative's Office to accelerate review whether Bangladesh should remain part of the Generalized System of Preferences through which Bangladeshi products gets duty-free access.
 

December 23, 2012

 


B'desh RMG exports defy fall in India, Pakistan

Export of ready-made garments (RMG) from Bangladesh has been rising while the supply of the item to the world market from India and Pakistan falling over the last several months, trade sources said on Sunday.Export of Bangladeshi RMG products including the knit and woven apparels registered a 16 per cent growth in the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY) 2011-12 to more than $6.6 billion compared to the corresponding period of the last FY.During the period value added textile like RMG exports from Pakistan declined to some 11 per cent compared to the same period of the last FY, sources in the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said quoting data from Pakistani businesses.But the fall in RMG exports have cast a pall of gloom on the Pakistan textile industries, the trade sources said. Like Bangladesh the FY begins in Pakistan also in July.Demand for Indian textile products and raw materials have also declined in international market in the current fiscal year which begins in India in April.
 

December 24, 2012
 


India's cotton production for 2012-13 to be around 35.5m bales

MUMBAI, Dec 23 (Economic Times): Cotton production in the season 2012-13 is expected to be around 35.5 million bales, while the consumption is likely to be around 265 lakh bales, according to Cotton Association of India (CAI)."The cotton production this year is expected to be not less than 35.5 million bales while the consumption is likely to be around 26.5 million bales, leaving a sizable surplus," CAI President DhirenSheth said at its 90th annual general meeting here.There was an apprehension at the start of the season 2012-13 that the area under cotton may be lower than in 2011-12, consequent to the late onset of monsoon and unfavorable distribution of subsequent rains in some cotton growing areas.Cotton production in the country, which was 158 lakh bales in 2001-02, has more than doubled during the last decade. Productivity level has also seen a marked improvement from 308 kgs/ha in 2001-02 to close to 500 kgs/ha in 2011-12. The total acreage has also registered remarkable increase from 87.3 lakh ha in 2001-02 to 121.78 lakh in 2011-12.This has not only enabled the country to cater to its domestic requirement but also transformed the country from a chronic importer of cotton to a regular exporter. India's total export earnings from cotton, which was a meager 44 crore in 2001-02, stood at a whooping 14,000 crore in the year 2011-12.
 

December 24, 2012



India's cotton yarn exports seen rising 20pc on Chinese demand

India's exports of cotton yarn used by textile mills are expected to touch 992 million kg in the fiscal year ending next March.India's exports of cotton yarn are expected to raise a fifth in the fiscal year to next March, spurred by higher imports by top consumer China and a weaker rupee currency, traders said on Monday. Exports of yarn, a value-added product used by textile mills, are expected to touch 992 million kg in the fiscal year ending next March. But overseas sales of raw cotton are likely to fall to 7 million bales (of 170 kg each), down 45.7 per cent on the year ending on Sept. 30 2013, they said.China, India's biggest buyer of cotton in the marketing year to Sept. 30, when New Delhi shipped out a record 12.9 million bales, is gradually shifting to man-made fibers such as polyester. By doing this China aims to avoid supply disruptions from cotton manufacturers such as India, which often reins in exports to avert shortages at home, said SushilAgrawal, who owns a large yarn manufacturing unit in the northern state of Haryana.In October, raw cotton shipments from India to China fell by 98 per cent, while yarn export registration jumped more than 100 per cent to about 9.4 million kg, government data showed."Cotton yarn export registrations rose by over 20 per cent so far in the current fiscal (year) and we expect this trend to continue until March. And yarn shipments could go up by at least 20 per cent this fiscal," said the chief financial officer of a Mumbai-based textile firm, who did not want to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to the media The state-run Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) estimates there will be exportable surplus of 920 million kg, or 20 to 22 per cent of total output, in the fiscal year that ends.


December 11, 2012
 


Bangladesh hopes to 'export $1.0b RMG to China within a few years’

Experts at a seminar Sunday said Bangladesh can contribute US$ 29.71 billion worth textiles and clothing in a $500 billion world merchandise trade by 2015 by taking care of its' infrastructure, image related problems, political stability, productivity and compliance issues.They also said China alone has become a huge potential market for Bangladesh as it loses its' competitiveness in the global apparel export and shift to high-tech industries and is ready to import clothes for its' domestic consumers from Bangladesh at a lower price. Bangladesh should more concentrate on product and diversification and entering the non-traditional markets as the import trend of those markets has been significant over the last three years while the US market has been shrinking. Also the Western buyers are looking for China plus one as their sourcing option which can be Bangladesh, they added. Bangladesh RMG export to China has recorded the highest 97.92 per cent in 2010-2012 followed by Korea 69.47 per cent, Japan 63.08, Australia 59.43, India 53.09, Russia 47.49, Brazil 35.02, Chile 30.91, Mexico 21.55, and South Africa 15.31 per cent. There will be demand of US$ 650 billion in the global clothing and apparel market by 2020 where there is a scope for Bangladesh to contribute $44.56 billion.
 

December 11, 2012

 

Exports to US see 1.65pc growth in July-Oct

Export earnings from the USA, the largest export destination for Bangladeshi goods, witnessed a 1.65 per cent growth during the first four months (July-Oct) of the current fiscal (2012-13), mostly due to moderate performance of the RMG sector, reports UNB.It totaled $1641.76 million in the first four months (July-Oct) of the fiscal year 2012-13 compared to $ 1615.12 million during the corresponding period of the previous year (2011-12). The amount represents 19.62 per cent of the country's total export earnings during the period. According to recent statistics compiled by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), RMG export, including knitwear, to the US amounted to $ 1493.12 million during the July-Oct period of the current fiscal compared to $1483.15 million during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. The RMG items, including knitwear, witnessed a 0.67 per cent growth in the US market. The major exports to the US market during the period were woven garment ($1111.11 million), knitwear ($ 382.01 million), frozen shrimp ($ 9.87 million) and cap ($12.10 million).During the period, around 34.52 per cent of the country's total woven garment exports entered the US market, followed by knitwear 11.19 per cent and frozen shrimp 6.15 per cent. Bangladesh's export earnings from the US in fiscal 2010-11 were impressive as it totaled $ 5107.52 million showing a 29.29 per cent gain from the figure of fiscal 2009-10.
 

December 11, 2012

 


US, EC for safety measures in RMG sector

The US and European Commission (EC) at separate meetings with leaders of country's apparel makers Thursday pressed for trade union rights and ensuring adequate safety measures in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector.During his meeting with the RMG leaders, the US Ambassador Dan W Mozena laid emphasis on some issues including workers' trade union rights and fire safety compliance, BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) sources said, without going into further details.EU Ambassador William Hanna at his meeting with leaders of the BGMEA raised the EU's renewed concern about factory safety in Bangladesh following news of the fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia."We all know what must be done. Safety standards in factories must be improved," a EU statement said, quoting Mr Hanna. The EU Ambassador was also quoted as saying: "The EU is already working with the BGMEA to assist. We will continue to do so. All must play a part -- including Government services, producers, workers' representatives and buyers -- to ensure decent working standards in the RMG sector in Bangladesh."Faruque Hassan, vice president of BGMEA, said "We will start the crash training program from Monday which would especially deal with fire safety at factories," he informed the meeting. In doing so, he said, the association has already divided the country's garments areas into zones. Diplomats of the US and EU met the BGMEA leaders following the recent devastating fire incident at Tazreen Fashions Ltd which claimed at least 112 workers and injured several others.
 

December 7, 2012

 


India commits to export 1.5m bales of cotton to Bangladesh annually

India made assurances on Tuesday to Bangladesh about its exports of 1.5 million bales of cotton annually. Besides, India also promised to look into the issues about various non-tariff and para-tariff barriers to help raise Bangladesh's exports to it. Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed briefed the media personnel about India's assurances and promises after a secretary-level bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart S R Rao. Dhaka and New Delhi are already at the final stage of signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cotton trade as frequent bans on export of the item by India cause jolts to be Bangladesh's textile industry."The Indian side has assured us of exporting 1.5 million bales of cotton annually under any condition," a senior commerce ministry official told the FE after the meeting. India has also requested for a quick decision regarding opening of four more border markets close to its Mizoram and Tripura states. The Bangladesh side said that the issue was under examination.
 

December 5, 2012

 


Pakistan's RMG exports grew by 14.59pc in four months

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3: The export of ready-made garments from the country during the last four months of current financial year registered growth of 14.59 per cent as compared to the same period of last year. As many as 8,964 thousand dozens of ready-made garments worth $ 604 million exported during the period from July-October 2012 as compared to the 8,294 thousand dozen valuing $ 527.12 million in same period of last financial year. According to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of towel from the country surged by 6.62 per cent as about 53,526 metric ton towel worth $ 254 million exported during the period under review.

 


$10 billion Indo-Bangla trade foreseen in next two years
Knitwear factories demand dues from Indian buyers

Indian apex trade body leader Monday said there is a two-way potential of US$ 10 billion trade between India and Bangladesh by next two years.He also identified inadequate infrastructure at border areas of the two neighboring countries as one of the major challenges hampering trade.Representatives of both the countries said Bangladesh can be the manufacturing hub for India and exporting those again in India, as well as the neighboring countries, providing regional connectivity. The FBCCI and the IBCCI are the Bangladesh partners in the event. Mr. Quader said Bangladesh imported US$ 5 billion worth goods from India in 2011-2012 while it exported half a billion dollar goods. He urged Indian businesses to import jute and jute goods, leather and leather goods and light engineering products from Bangladesh. He said Bangladesh exported US$ 55 million worth garments items to India which was US$ 35 million last year, an increase by 150 per cent. On cotton import from India, Rao said India is committed to concluding cotton package. "We've already given a draft to Commerce Ministry." He also said India will provide 500mw electricity to Bangladesh by the middle of 2013.FICCI President said, "We need to come together and jointly address the challenges that confront us to realise the actual potential. One of the major challenges is the inadequate infrastructure at our borders which hamper trade."He said both the countries will have to make it sure that infrastructure development, including trade related infrastructure, is given a priority by both sides.
 

December 4, 2012

 

October 2011


India cotton exports may rise 17pc

FBCCI urges Dutch team for enhancing trade, investment

Duty-free access of 46 items to India
Stalemate over trial run of Ctg port CTMS automation

Global cotton mill use to rise 1.5pc in 2011
Vast scope exists for RMG waste export

BD RMG export to Japan might cross $1.0b by next 2 years

Faruk urges RMG owners to build worker-friendly environment in factories

EPB eyes potential overseas markets for RMG

Export earnings mark 8.70pc growth in July

 

 

India cotton exports may rise 17pc

MUMBAI, Sept 21 (Reuters): India's cotton exports could rise 17 per cent, or 1.4 million tones, over an official forecast in the year to September 2012, spurred by a record harvest, a weaker domestic currency and a freer trade policy, the top exporter of the fibre said. India contributes 22 per cent of global output and is expected to have a bumper harvest of 6.14 million tonnes, pushing it into competition with suppliers from Latin America, Australia and Africa, that will squeeze world prices.

Source: The Financial Express (September 22, 2011)



FBCCI urges Dutch team for enhancing trade, investment

Inge Sloekers, programme manager of CBI, called on Ahmed Jamal, acting-president of FBCCI, in the city Tuesday. Minke of CBI and Mrs Linda, official of Dutch Embassy in Dhaka, were present on the occasion.
A delegation of CBI, an agency of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, have been urged to invest in different sectors like leather, jute, pharmaceuticals, ceramics and RMG.
Acting-president of FBCCI Ahmed Jamal made the appeal when a Dutch team called on him at his office in the city Tuesday, according to a press release. The delegation of CBI also seeks more cooperation from the Bangladeshi business community to explore trade potentialities between the two countries. Inge Sloekers, program manger of CBI, led the delegation while Ahmed Jamal, acting-president of FBCCI, led its team. Mr. Jamal said: "Bangladesh economy is growing gradually and its products namely leather, jute, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, RMG, home textiles are being exported in most of the countries including EU with good reputation." He urged the CBI team to import high-end products in their country and made a direct link between CBI and FBCCI. Mrs. Inge Slokers said: "CBI would do her best to resolve the hindrance in doing business between the countries and also wants more cooperation from FBCCI in terms of trade and investment." Both countries have settled to work for its furtherance of common interest, the release added.

Source: The Financial Express (September 22, 2011)


Duty-free access of 46 items to India
It's a big diplomatic success: BGMEA


Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said the duty free access of 46 Bangladeshi garment items to Indian market is a big diplomatic success of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Commerce Minister Faruk Khan. The trade body also wants its effective implementation. BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said this while addressing a press conference at its conference room Monday. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said, India already has allowed Bangladesh to export 10 million pieces of garment items to its market under the framework of South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAPTA). He said, the two- way trade between the two neighbors on garment items will be increased significantly following the Indian government's decision. "If Bangladesh is allowed duty and quota free access of all products of sensitive list in India, it will not only promote the trade relations but also reduce the trade deficit between the two countries significantly, he added." Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) president Salim Osman said, the historic step will open up a new era of opportunity for Bangladeshi garment exports to India that would massively help the country grab a significant portion of apparel markets there. The RMG items which will go to the Indian market are T- shirt, knitted trouser, jersey, pullover, cardigan, hand socks, undergarment and singlet, the BKMEA chief said.

Source: The Financial Express (September 13, 2011)

 

Stalemate over trial run of Ctg port CTMS automation
CPA-RMG exporters' tussle over cut off time relaxation

CHITTAGONG, Sept 9: Trial run of Container Terminal management System (CTMS) automation in Chittagong Port is not taking place on September 11 as re-scheduled earlier as the port authority and the RMG exporters are yet to reach a consensus over the existing relaxation of cut-off time for export containers. In the backdrop of the stalemate, the government has initiated an awareness meeting with the garment and knitwear exporters in Chittagong. The Taka 370 million worth project of export container listing titled Container Terminal Management System (CTMS) could not be commissioned on August 14 as the garment exporters objected the CPA move to withdraw the existing cut-off time facilities after automation of the export containers. CPA chairman said he is fully ready to commission the automation of export containers. If implemented, the automation will enhance productivity of the yards as the container stacking will be done according to its geographical location. It will reduce waiting time of the vessels and utilize the handling equipment in a planned way, he added.

Source: The Financial Express (September 10, 2011)

 

Global cotton mill use to rise 1.5pc in 2011

WASHINGTON, Sept 3 (Commodity Online): World Cotton mill use is expected to recover in 2011-12 with a marginal growth of 1.5 per cent compared to 4 per cent drop in 201-11, according to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Cotton mill use is forecast at 24.7 million tons in 2011/12, 1.5 per cent higher than in 2010/11. This rise will be facilitated by increased availability of cotton, but moderated by still relatively high cotton prices and competition from chemical fibers.

Source: The Financial Express (September 4, 2011)

 

Vast scope exists for RMG waste export

Every year, Bangladesh can earn US$ 100 million through garments and textile waste export, president of Bangladesh Garments and Textile Waste Exporters Association (BGTWEA) Aminul Islam said. There are around 200 exporters and manufacturing companies in the country, where minimum 100000 people are employed and more than 50 per cent of whom are women, he said at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) in the city Sunday. He said every day a lot of waste comes out from readymade garment (RMG) factories and a minimal amount of those is being used for domestic purposes. "We can use only 5.0 per cent waste as local demand, and rest of the amount remain unused every day due to lack of technology and skilled manpower in our country," said the president and added there is a vast scope for exporting RMG waste as it is being exported to India, China and some other countries now. "We should pay a careful attention so that none could intentionally destroy the prospect of garment waste export," he added.

Source: The Financial Express (August 22, 2011)

 

BD RMG export to Japan might cross $1.0b by next 2 years

Bangladeshi RMG export to Japan might cross the billion-dollar-mark by the next two years, as Japanese buyers are gradually getting interested in Bangladeshi products, businesses said. Many of the industry-insiders told the FE that Japanese lab testing and quality inspection companies are visiting Bangladesh to survey their investment potentials, following a strong presence of Japanese apparel buyers here. President of the Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) Abdus Salam Murshedy said presently at least 20 Japanese companies have their representatives in Dhaka to procure Bangladeshi apparel products. Talking to the FE, the EAB chief and former BGMEA president said lab testing is the most important thing for the Japanese buyers, as their customers are highly quality conscious. He added that Japan is the latest lucrative destination for Bangladeshi RMG export. A significant number of Japanese entrepreneurs are now relocating their factories to different countries, including Bangladesh, after the Japanese government announced the "China plus one campaign." President of the Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said the largest Japanese retail chain - Uniqlo - invested $70 million in Bangladesh and the company is targeting to purchase apparel items in bulk volumes.

Source: The Financial Express (August 13, 2011)

 

Faruk urges RMG owners to build worker-friendly environment in factories

Commerce Minister M Faruk Khan has urged the RMG owners to take more initiatives for building a worker friendly environment in the factories. The commerce minister said this while speaking as chief guest at the eighteenth meeting of social compliance forum of readymade garment industries at the conference room of commerce ministry Wednesday. The commerce minister also requested the industry owners to be keen enough not to let any kind of unexpected situation happen ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr regarding payment of salary and bonuses. The commerce minister, however, gave instructions to the concerned authorities to implement the 'Garment Industrial Park' within the earliest possible time. Addressing the meeting State Minister for Labor and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian urged the factory owners to give salary and bonuses before August 25.
She also urged the factory owners not to give bonuses less than fifty per cent of the workers' wages. Secretary of Commerce Ministry, Secretary of Labor and Employment Ministry, leaders of BGMEA and BKMEA, representatives from different NGOs and different ministries were present at the meeting.

Source: The Financial Express (August 11, 2011)

 

EPB eyes potential overseas markets for RMG

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) is now looking for new potential overseas markets for the Readymade Garment (RMG) industry to propel the growth of the sector, which earned priceless kudos for Bangladesh, reports BSS. "We depend mainly on US and Europe for garment export and are looking for new export markets like Brazil, Russia, Australia, South Africa and South Korea to give a big boost to the apparel industry," Jalal Ahmed, Vice-Chairman of EPB, told the news agency. The earning stood at around 18 billion US dollars fiscal 2010-2011, thanks to the entrepreneurs and workers for the growth. Jalal said apart from these anticipated countries, India and China are becoming the potential markets for RMG export as the export rates of knitwear and woven items are on the rise. Talking to the news agency, Director General of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Dr Mostafa K Mujeri said Bangladesh got the benefit of global apparel market after phasing out MFA and developed counties started rising their labor cost. "We have to attract our products before China to take over the opportunity of colossal apparel market. We need to improve electricity, gas and infrastructure facilities to this end," said Dr Mujeri, also a former chief economist of Bangladesh Bank. Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said apparel industry has brought a great success for Bangladesh and the country has become a major player in the 460 million US dollars global market.

Source: The Financial Express (August 11, 2011)

 

Export earnings mark 8.70pc growth in July

Export earnings last month recorded $ 2.33 billion, a 28.70 per cent growth compared to $ 1.81 billion of the corresponding period of 2010, an official data showed. The merchandise shipment is also 7.40 per cent higher than the target of $2.17 billion in the first month of the current fiscal year. The major sectors like raw jute and jute goods, knitwear and woven garment, frozen fish, leather and footwear attributed much to sustain the growth, EPB officials said. Jute and jute goods fetched $110.23 million in July this yea recording a 54.66 per cent growth against $49.51 million in the same period last year.
In July this year, knitwear earnings stood at $1.0 billion and woven garment at $ 888 million marking 26.20 per cent and 32.28 per cent growth respectively compared to the same period of last year. Home textiles posted a growth of 51.69 per cent, frozen fish 30.63 per cent, leather 22.03 per cent, footwear 46.37 per cent, plastic products including PVC bags and waste 24.80 per cent and agricultural products 20 per cent, the data showed. "The earning in July is lower than that of the earnings of March and April," Mohammad Hatem, Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) said. He feared that the earnings might fall in the next few months especially from August to October as the importers are in a 'wait and watch' situation due to the cotton prices. "Export orders decreased to half in the recent times following the decrease in sale in international markets amid high cotton and yarn prices," he said explaining foreign buyers are not placing their orders considering the downward trend of cotton and yarn. The country earned $22.92 billion in the just concluded fiscal year and set a target of $26.50 billion for the current fiscal.

Source: The Financial Express (August 9, 2011)

 

 

 

July 2011

 

RMG owners give warning of tough action

Exporters worried as delivery delayed

India postpones decision on cotton exports

Steps to resolve problems of jute, textile sectors will be taken: Latif

41 pc export growth achieved in 10 months

Muhith asks RMG stakeholders to boost coordination

Ctg Port to buy rail-mounted gantry cranes

Export of jute bags can fetch country Tk 1b annually

BGMEA hails Japan for relaxing GSP rules

Bangladesh export to USA sees robust growth in July-Feb

 

 

RMG owners give warning of tough action

Ready-made garment (RMG) owners said if the government imposes 1.5 per cent tax at source, they would stop production. They urged the government to decrease bank interest rate to single digit and reduce income tax at source on exportable goods at 0.40 per cent instead of proposed 1.5 per cent. "Charging 16 to 18 per cent interest for borrowing money from banking system is now the big impediment to investment in the country. Moreover, proposed 275 per cent hike of income tax at source on exportable goods will aggravate this impediment," they said at a post-budget views exchange meeting at BGMEA head office in city. They said the tax at source should be fixed at 0.40 per cent taking into consideration the weak infrastructure and current international market so that the export sector can survive in the global competitive market. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said if the government imposes 1.5 per cent tax at source on the garment owners, then it would raise the raise factors by 55 per cent to 60 per cent for the woven and knitwear sectors. In that case, the entrepreneurs will not be able to run their industries, the BGMEA leaders said. Former president of BGMEA Abdus Salam Murshedy said, proposed budget has no allocation for food rationing, skilled manpower and dormitory. It is not a business-friendly budget. If the proposed budget is implemented, investment will be decline in the business sector, he added.

Source: The Financial Express (June 24, 2011)

 


Exporters worried as delivery delayed

CHITTAGONG, June 19: Garment exporters here are worried as they have to wait for delivery of imported raw materials for two or more days even after assessment of the same due to absence of Customs officials on Friday and Saturday. "Early delivery of raw materials imported from abroad is very much related with timely export of the readymade garments (RMG) to the buyers. But the Customs officials are not available on Friday and Saturday, which puts us into unusual pressure while meeting the export schedules," said acting president of the CMCCI A M Mahbub Chowdhury. Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association said they submit at least 500 import bills and over 1800 export bills to the Customs authority in a single day for assessment from which the volume of goods to be delivered from the port can be calculated. Chowdhury said that the RMG exporters are pressed to take delivery of raw materials from the port at the earliest. The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has also raised the container storage charges by 300 per cent and they are paying accordingly. "The container storage charge is currently $12 per container per day which was $4.0 two years back. Accordingly we have to pay the enhanced charges. Imported goods assessed on Thursday are being delivered on the next Sunday simply because concerned Customs officials are not available on Friday and Saturday," he told the FE. "The government attaches highest importance on the quickest delivery of import and export goods from the port and accordingly the port offices and concerned commercial banks keep open on Saturday. We don't know why the concerned Customs officials in the jetties are not available on Saturday," said Chowdhury.

Source: The Financial Express (June 20, 2011)



India postpones decision on cotton exports

LUBBOCK, USA, June 3 (commodity Online): The highly anticipated high level ministerial meeting in India to decide on the cotton export limit for this year which was scheduled for Thursday has been postponed. According to officials in the India Government, Ministry of Textile that the Group of Ministers meet involving the ministries of finance, agriculture, commerce and textiles which was supposed to take place on Thursday, June second to decide on the export quota limit for the 2010-11 cotton did not take place. The date of this meeting is not known at the time of reporting.


The cotton farmers and traders were expecting that due to the pressure from the Minister of Agriculture, the current limit will be enhanced by at least 1.5 million bales (170 kg each). Dhiren Sheth, President of Mumbai based Cotton Association of India told this scribe that his association pleads for unrestricted cotton exports from India. The spinning industry lobby, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry has been demanding no additional cotton export be allowed until the arrival of new crop. Until the next meeting, the export limit from India remains at 5.5 million bales (170 kg each).

Source: The Financial Express (June 4, 2011)



Steps to resolve problems of jute, textile sectors will be taken: Latif

Jute and Textile Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui assured Thursday the business leaders in the country's two potential economic sectors -- jute and textile -- that the government would take all steps soon to help resolve their problems. "Though we have only a few days left before the announcement of the new budget, we will discuss the issues with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister within a day or two," the minister said while seeking a list of what the businessmen want on a priority basis. The minister was speaking at a seminar on "Jute and Textile Sectors Problems and Potentiality: Bangladesh Perspective", organized by the Federation of the Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in the city. The minister said the textile sector has greater potentiality than that of the jute sector which is, however, now doing much better than before, because of efficient management. The state-owned jute mills are now making profit, he added. The primary textile sector is facing a threat due to the new Generalized System of Preference (GSP) facility of the European Union (EU) and spinning mills have already been shut down and a good number of factories are also on the verge of closure. "The use of local jute products will increase if the law related to this is properly implemented, in the wake of the government step for making the use of jute products mandatory for packaging under the law of 2010," said the acting chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA), Syed ABM Humayun. He demanded the announcement of Jute Policy 2011 in the form of a gazette notification for its proper implementation while presenting his key-note paper on the problems and potentiality of the jute sector.

Source: The Financial Express (June 3, 2011)



41 pc export growth achieved in 10 months

CHITTAGONG, May 31: The country had earned $18.2 billion from export in 10 months of the current fiscal until April 2011, a growth by 41 per cent over the corresponding period of the last fiscal. The government has set the target of export earning at $18.5 billion for the year 2010-11, but the earning is expected to be much higher than the target with the current export trend to continue in the final two months. Although knitwear and woven readymade garment (RMG) enjoy a lion's share of the export earning there are potential export products and market destinations, which have remained, unexplored yet, experts said at a seminar in the city today. Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Chittagong centre organized the seminar titled 'Exploring market of readymade garments: Japan, Russian and Latin American countries' at the EPB conference room in the morning.


They said the knitwear and the woven garments had achieved growth by 46 per cent and 39 per cent respectively in 10 months of the current fiscal while the export growth of home textile was 98 per cent, footwear export growth 49 per cent, jute and jute products 42 per cent and frozen foods export growth 54 per cent. Director of Export Promotion Bureau in Chittagong Abdul Moin said the EPB has taken initiative to diversify the RMG market which is now prominent in the EU and the USA.

Source: The Financial Express (June 1, 2011)



Muhith asks RMG stakeholders to boost coordination

Finance Minister AMA Muhith urged the stakeholders of the entire apparel sector Sunday for a better coordination to protect their overall interest, reports UNB. "The textile sector (leaders) should join hands to do such thing which will protect their overall interest," he said when a delegation of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) called on him at the NEC. The BGMEA chief also demanded a special allocation in the budget for building dormitories, constructing hospitals and introduction of rationing of basic foods for garment workers, building a special industrial zone for the garment sector to reduce the burden on capital.

Source: The Financial Express (May 30, 2011)



Ctg Port to buy rail-mounted gantry cranes

The Chittagong Port authority (CPA) has taken a move to procure rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGC) for the first time to increase productivity of the county's premier seaport, officials said. The CPA has prepared documents to invite tender immediately for purchasing the equipment. After procurement, the cranes are expected to increase container handling capacity of the port significantly, they added. "The volume of our container handling is growing sharply, and to cope with the demand, we've planned to procure such sophisticated cranes," said Enamul Karim, terminal manager of the CPA. The suppliers, after installing the new cranes, will operate and take maintenance responsibilities for five years.

Source: The Financial Express (May 19, 2011)



Export of jute bags can fetch country Tk 1b annually

Wednesday May 18 2011
Bangladesh could earn Tk 1.0 billion annually from export of jute bags the demand for which has been increasing in the world market, reports UNB. International Jute Study Group (IJSG) estimated that annual world demand for shopping bags is 500 billion pieces. Leading food retailers Tesco, the Co-operative Group, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and John Lewis-Waitrose partnership are expanding grocery convenience formats. In the UK alone, the grocery market was worth Ł150.8 billion for the calendar year 2010, an increase of 3.10 per cent over the previous year. By 2014, IGD (a research organization dedicated to the development of food and grocery industry) predicts that the Chinese grocery market will be worth €761 billion (about $1.046 trillion at today's rate), compared to a forecast US market value of €745 billion ($1.024 trillion). Companies like The Body Shop are also moving towards a "greener" packaging revolution. Demand for natural, biodegradable bags will gradually increase as more and more chain shops around the world phase out the use of polythene bags and use bio-friendly natural fiber bags instead. Jute goods manufactures of Bangladesh export around 100,000 shopping bags a month on an average to different countries. They mentioned that there is scope for export of more jute bags in the years ahead, as some European countries are set to ban polythene bags. As per Indian NIIR Project Consultancy Services India had exported about 40 million jute bags mainly to Europe in 2008-09 and the number is likely to cross 75 million by 2011-12. Jute and Textile Ministry resources said that the government is planning to formulate National Jute Policy which might include a duty-free export-processing zone for jute good manufacturers (including jute diversified products producers) and offer soft loans to these SMEs on flexible terms to encourage the growth of more industries in the jute sector. "This will enable the country to obtain larger orders of bags that are currently being rejected due to the inability to provide importers with large quantities of bags.”

Source: The Financial Express (May 18, 2011)
 


BGMEA hails Japan for relaxing GSP rules

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has praised the Japanese authority for relaxing the GSP rules of origin on Bangladesh's apparel products saying it would help boost exports to Japan. The Government of Japan has revised the GSP rules of origin from apparel imports from Bangladesh effective from April 1. The declaration came through an official notification of the Japanese Government on March 31, 2011, a statement issued by BGMEA said on Wednesday.


As per the declaration, the rules of origin for knitwear items (products under HS chapter 61) has been relaxed from three stages to two stages, that means knitwear products manufactured from imported yarn can now avail this benefit. The woven garments (products under HS chapter 62), can avail this GSP benefit if one stage of production is done locally in Bangladesh, that means woven garments made of imported fabrics are eligible for this benefit (except handkerchiefs, shawls, scarves, mufflers, mantillas, veils, ties, bow ties, cravats, gloves, mittens, mitts, and other parts of garments). Japan is a highly potential market for Bangladesh with export growth rate of 133.02 per cent in 2009-2010 fiscal year and 50.36 per cent in during July-December of the current fiscal.

Source: The Financial Express (May 12, 2011)

 

Bangladesh export to USA sees robust growth in July-Feb

Export earnings from the USA, the largest market for Bangladeshi goods, registered a 35.53 per cent growth in the first eight months (July-February) of current fiscal, mostly due to buoyant performance of readymade garments (RMG) and frozen shrimp, reports UNB. It totaled US$3284.51 million in eight months compared to $2423.46 million during the corresponding period of the previous year. The amount represents 23.34 per cent of the country's total export earning during the period. According to recent statistics compiled by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), export of RMG to the US including knitwear amounted to $2967.91 million in July-February compared to $2249.62 million during the corresponding period of last fiscal. The RMG items including knitwear witnessed a 31.93 per cent growth in the US market. The major exports to the US market during the period were woven garment ($2223.58 million), knitwear ($744.33 million), frozen shrimp ($68.56 million), cap ($26.12 million) and home textiles ($113.21 million).


During the period, about 43.40 per cent of the country's total woven garment exports entered the US market, followed by knitwear 12.85 per cent and frozen shrimp 20.89 per cent. 1

Source: The Financial Express (May 11, 2011)

 

 

 

 

April 2011

 

Govt. to import 0.4m tons of cotton soon

CCCI urges Turkey to lift anti-dumping duty on RMG

Customs bond commissionerate in Chittagong next June: NBR chief

Separate ministry for RMG

BGMEA gets new president

Govt packages for foreign investors attractive: DCCI chief

RMG sector to get special facility at SEZs: PM

Country's export to Germany, UK, France increases

New EU origination rules to boost Bangladesh exports

Chittagong port able to handle transit cargo now: CPA chairman

Bangladesh missions exceed export target in July-Jan period

India garment exports may suffer on cotton yarn shipments

Pakistan's textile, food exports surge

Cotton farming to spread to Pakistan villages

Cotton yarn exports down in India

Record prices raise global cotton acreage

Australia forecasts increased cotton, sugar output, less wheat

Cotton falls from record on signs of robust global output

 

 


Govt. to import 0.4m tons of cotton soon

Commerce Minister M Faruk Khan Sunday said the government would take expeditious steps to import 0.4 million tons of cotton for meeting the demands in the country, reports UNB. "We're communicating with India and Uzbekistan for the import of cotton," he said when a delegation of Bangladesh Textile Mills' Association (BTMA) met him at his Secretariat office in the city Sunday.

Source: The Financial Express (April 11, 2011)

 

CCCI urges Turkey to lift anti-dumping duty on RMG

CHITTAGONG, Apr 10: Bangladesh business leaders have urged the government of Turkey to withdraw anti-dumping duty on export of readymade garments (RMG) and textiles from Bangladesh. The business leaders made the request through the 10-member Turkish business delegation during its visit to the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry this evening. The CCCI directors welcomed the business leaders of Turkey headed by president of Turkey-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr Fikret Cicek. Other members of the delegation are TBCCI secretary general Murat Karaca, Ahmed Cekir, Dr Mehmud Said, Hasan Huseyin, Baris Aydin, Nasir Bayraktar, Huseyin Cetin, Mahmut Akarsu and Ismail Akbas. Senior vice president of the CCCI Mahbubul Alam who chaired the meeting said: "As Muslim states Turkey and Bangladesh have been maintaining excellent friendly and business relations but it is very unfortunate that the Turkish government has recently imposed safeguard duty for which our exporters have to pay 17 per cent duty in the sector."He asked the delegation members to import greater volume of readymade garments, leather, jute and ceramics from Bangladesh.

Source: The Financial Express (April 11, 2011)

 

Customs bond commissionerate in Chittagong next June: NBR chief

CHITTAGONG, Apr 7: Import and export departments of Chittagong Custom House will be amalgamated in June next and a full-fledged bond commissionerate will be set up at the same time to facilitate export of readymade garments (RMG). NBR Chairman Nasir Uddin said this while exchanging pre-budget opinions with the business enterprises, industrialists and representatives of different trade bodies at the CCCI auditorium Thursday morning. Exporters of readymade garments have long been making allegations against the National Board of Revenue that the exporters are facing obstacles to the export of RMG due to lack of bond commissionerate and amalgamation of Customs export and import.

Source: The Financial Express (April 8, 2011)

 

Separate ministry for RMG

With the global economy showing some signs of recovery in recent months from the crisis, the exports of Bangladesh's readymade garments (RMG) have remarkably picked up. But some domestic hurdles are still in place. The immediate past president of the Bangladesh Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), while speaking at a farewell reception late last week, pointed out some such problems like bureaucratic snags and infrastructural deficit that "are slowing down the normal growth of the RMG sector". He demanded the creation of a separate ministry for the RMG sector. The former BGMEA top boss also disclosed a few statistics about the staggering additional costs that the RMG owners had to count due to inadequate infrastructures, high lending rates, soaring cotton prices and mismanagement at the country's main seaport. According to him, last year RMG exporters had to spend an extra Tk.20 billion on air shipment to meet the buyers' deadline. The production cost in the RMG sector has gone up by at least 45 per cent because of power and energy crisis. The crisis had forced the RMG units to spend an estimated Tk 40 billion on fuel oils last year to operate their own generators to cope with frequent power outages.


Notwithstanding this, it has emerged as the largest contributor to the country's export earnings, thus serving as one strong source of its economic growth. The RMG exporters are otherwise helpless about meeting the challenges of negative developments in the international market; they have no control over the exogenous factors like the shrinking demand for apparels in the recent times in the developed markets that were hit by one of the worst financial crises in the world's history.

Source: The Financial Express (March 30, 2011)

 

BGMEA gets new president

Newly elected president of Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin took charge Sunday from outgoing president Abdus Salam Murshedy. He sought cooperation from all to strengthen country's RMG sector. The charge was handed over to Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the BGMEA held on the day at the BGMEA auditorium.


Mr Mohiuddin said, "I will try to strengthen the country's ready-made garment (RMG) sector through establishing a congenial relation between the owners and the workers. He also sought cooperation of all garment owners in this regard.

Source: The Financial Express (March 28, 2011)

 

Govt packages for foreign investors attractive: DCCI chief

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Mr Asif Ibrahim Sunday said the government offers attractive packages for foreign investors to invest in different sectors in the country. "Foreign investors including the British entrepreneurs can invest in Agriculture, paper and pulp from jute, gas-based industries, power, fertilizer, renewable energy, RMG, Textiles, IT, leather and leather goods, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, electronics, light engineering, steel, infrastructure and tourism sectors considering the favorable environment in Bangladesh," he said at a round table in the capital. DCCI and British High Commission, Dhaka jointly organised the round table discussion on "United Kingdom (UK): Trade and Investment in Bangladesh" at the conference room of the Chamber. British High Commissioner in Dhaka Stephan Evans was present. He called upon the importers of the UK to import Bangladeshi products at zero rate of duty. He requested the SME entrepreneurs of Bangladesh to get information and other requirements of European Union (EU) market. British High Commissioner Stephan Evans said that there is a cordial bilateral trade relation between Bangladesh and UK. He mentioned that UK is focusing on energy, ports, infrastructure, software, textiles, ceramics, pharmaceuticals and the environment sector of Bangladesh.

Source: The Financial Express (March 28, 2011)



RMG sector to get special facility at SEZs: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged the owners of readymade garments manufacturing units to treat workers as their children and to be more sympathetic towards them, reports UNB. She said better outputs from the workers could be ensured through affection and winning their hearts. The Prime Minister was speaking at the Grand Gala Final of 'Premier Bank-Gorba (Pride)' arranged for the workers engaged in the RMG sector at a city hotel. At the same time she urged the workers to stay away from wrongdoing in the sector which ensures their livelihood. They should be vigilant that the sector does not fall victim to any conspiracy. Responding to a demand of the garments factory owners, Hasina said the government would set up special economic zones (SEZs) in the country where arrangements will be there for RMG sector. Appreciating the event organized for the workers, the Prime Minister said such initiative would help create solid bridge between workers and owners and it would strengthen the existing relations.

Source: The Financial Express (March 20, 2011)



Country's export to Germany, UK, France increases

Country's export to key destinations like Germany, the UK and France maintained a healthy growth in the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal (2010-11) as compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal (2009-10), reports UNB. In July-November 2010, exports to Germany totaled US$1195.34 million, which was 14.44 per cent of the total export earnings for the period. Of the amount, knitwear accounted for $752.00 million, followed by woven garment $346.75 million and frozen shrimp $19.13 million. Exports to the UK totaled $748.42 million in July-November 2010, which was 9.05 per cent of the total export earnings.


The export of readymade garment (RMG) items accounted for $617.02 million as against $506.42 million during the corresponding period of the fiscal 2009-10, showing a 21.84 per cent growth. The home textile export to the UK during the period was $32.37 million, while frozen shrimps $25.84 million and bicycles $30.31 million. Exports to France during the five months increased to $534.19 million, which accounted for 6.46 per cent of the total export earnings for the period. Exports to Italy totaled $286.99 million in July-November 2010 with knitwear accounting for $170.44 million, woven garment $82.33 million and leather $10.52 million. Exports to Belgium amounted to $217.78 million that included knitwear $87.48 million, woven garment $49.34 million, frozen shrimp $54.62 million and jute yarn and twine $10.13 million. Export earnings from the USA, the largest market for Bangladeshi goods, registered a robust growth in the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal totaling $1956.38 million, which was 23.64 per cent of the total export earnings.

Source: The Financial Express (March 18, 2011)
 


New EU origination rules to boost Bangladesh exports

A seminar on Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)-New Regulations on Rules of Origin in Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the EU- in progress in the city Wednesday. The revised rules of origin adopted by the EU will facilitate Bangladesh's export growth, Norwegian Ambassador Ragne Birte Lund said Wednesday. "The changes in the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) system should help trigger a further rise in export to our region from Bangladesh and to increase competitiveness of Bangladeshi exporters compared with non LDC countries" she said. The new GSP system, which came into effect from January 01, 2011, will allow Bangladesh to export its goods duty free or with reduced duty rates, she said. The country's export to Norway increased by 35 per cent last year and the GSP system will work as a catalyst to increase the growth in the years to come, she said. "The new GSP facility has opened up the window of opportunity to explore the untapped markets in the European Economic Area," Faruque Hassan, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said. With the effect of the new one-stage rules of origin, the country's 100 per cent apparel exports to EU,Norway, Switzerland and Turkey are now availing the GSP benefit, he said adding earlier only 42.72 per cent of the woven-wear textiles could benefit from the GSP system.

Source: The Financial Express (March 17, 2011)



Chittagong port able to handle transit cargo now: CPA chairman

CHITTAGONG, Mar 1: Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is capable of handling the transit cargo of the neighboring countries any day from now on, subject to the approval by the government. Mr Islam, who took over the charge of the CPA on February 13 last, gave answers to different queries in his first press meet on issues like port infrastructure, equipment facilities, modernization of the port under the CPA Master Plan, tender process, labor unrest, port security etc. Elaborating on the major seaport's ability to handle transit cargo, the CPA chairman said that the port handled 1.313 million TEUs (twenty equivalent units) containers last year.” If we give transit facility, the cargo handling will grow by 7.0 to 7.50 per cent over the existing volume of handling. Currently 40 per cent of the port's capacity is unutilized," he said. About the infrastructure and equipment facilities of the port, the CPA Member Nazrul Islam, who is also a member of the sub-committee on transit, said, if transit facility is given today, then 18.3 million metric tons of additional cargo are expected to be transported through our country annually. "The additional cargo to be handled through Chittagong Port will be about 0.18 million TEUs in terms of container which is barely 7.50 per cent of the cargo now being handled by the port," he said. About the security of the transit cargo, he said that the issues relating to separate yards in the port for stuffing and un-stuffing and the related security matters, will be decided, once the transit starts.

Source: The Financial Express (March 2, 2011)



Bangladesh missions exceed export target in July-Jan period

Bangladesh missions abroad have shown remarkable success in the July-January period of the current fiscal, surpassing the export target by US$ 1,888 million. A total of 36 missions out of 44 earned $ 11,864.2 million in the last seven months against their target of $ 9,976.43 million, according to the statistics of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). Officials said the expansion of the export market to new destinations contributed to the impressive performance of the missions. Six missions have however failed to reach their export target in the period. However those missions have been able to attract exports worth $ 45.2 million against the target of $ 109.04 million. Bangladeshi missions which have been able to achieve export target are in New Delhi, The Hague, Berlin, Amman, Ottawa, Nairobi, Hanoi, Canberra, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Riyadh, Dubai, Brussels, Moscow, Pretoria, Beijing, Paris, Tashkent, Washington, London, Stockholm, Tehran, Madrid, Kathmandu, Rome, Colombo, Ankara, Seoul, Singapore, Islamabad, Doha, Manila, Rabat, Tokyo, Thimphu, Cairo and Muscat. The missions that have failed to achieve target are in Tripoli, Bangkok, Yangon, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Brunei. Meanwhile, the country's exports registered a robust growth of nearly 40 per cent during the first seven months of the current fiscal, the EPB data showed. The export earnings during the July-January period of the current fiscal also surpassed the target by 18.56 per cent, the data revealed. According to the EPB figures, the country earned $ 12,184.19 million during July-January period of 2010-11 fiscal year through overseas sales compared to $ 8,712.44 million of the same period in the last financial year.


The major export earners like readymade garments, jute and frozen foods are showing good performance this year which has accelerated the overall growth though they failed to do the same during the period of the last fiscal.

Source: The Financial Express (February 15, 2011)

 

International

India garment exports may suffer on cotton yarn shipments

MUMBAI, April 2 (Commodity Online): With the India government lifting curbs on cotton yarn exports, the textile industry in India may suffer; so believes the Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) exporting knitwear and readymade garments over Rs 160 billion on an annual basis. The TEA expressed shock on the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) allowing cotton yarn exports earlier capped at 720 million kg on account of yarn prices sky-rocketing in 2010-11 season. Currently, this has been lifted on condition that cotton yarn should be registered with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) prior to shipments. The TEA feels that the move would raise prices of cotton yarn in the domestic industry, according to industry quotes in Financial Express. Many countries are already importing cotton yarn from India to manufacture garments. They are having advantages in the form of convenient bank interest rates, refund of VAT as well as low power costs. Naturally, these yarn importing countries would be able to compete with India as cost leadership is on their side. Eventually this would be toppling Indian garment exporters. Once the customer loyalty is lost it is very difficult to reclaim it, Financial Express mentioned TEA president, A Sakthivel, as saying. During 2009-10, India's garment exports earned $10.64 billion in revenues. The industry employs 7 million people.

Source: The Financial Express (April 3, 2011)



Pakistan's textile, food exports surge

ISLAMABAD, Mar 21 (APP): Exports of textile and food groups have witnessed considerable growth during the first 8 months of the current year as these surged by 28.67 per cent and 18.28 per cent respectively. The textile exports during July-February (2010-11) were recorded at US$8.637 billion against the exports of US$6.708 billion during the same period of last year, Federal Bureau of Statistics reported. The products that contributed to the positive growth in overall textile sector included raw cotton, cotton yarn and cotton cloth, exports of which increased by 12.97 per cent, 45.30 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. Similarly the exports of cotton (carded or combed) increased by 18.93 per cent, yarn (other that cotton yarn) by 15.36 per cent, knit wear by 26.63 per cent, bed wear by 16.68 per cent, towels by 6.40 per cent, readymade garments by 33,67 per cent, art, silk and synthetic textile by 64.17 per cent, made up articles by 18.63 per cent and the exports of other textile materials increased by 39.58 per cent during the period under review. Meanwhile, the textile exports witnessed increase of 50.82 per cent and 0.70 per cent in February 2011 as compared to the exports of February 2010 and January 2011, respectively.

Source: The Financial Express (March 22, 2011)
 


Cotton farming to spread to Pakistan villages

LAHORE, Mar 12 (Commodity Online): In a bid to tap the highly priced domestic and international cotton market, farmers in Lahore, Gujranwala, Sargodha and Rawalpindi of Pakistan's Punjab province will be motivated to produce modern varieties of cotton. The move would ensure 30 per cent more of modern varieties of cotton spreading to non-traditional areas where cotton crop is found to be suitable and sustainable given the conditions prevailing. The government thus has decided to extend the dividends to farmers in these area as well with the Punjab Agriculture Extension Department entrusted with the task, reported The Pakistan economy is still agrarian in nature and the government's new measure seeks to improve the output of cotton that would pay the farmers better price dividend. Currently 0.8 million acres of land fall under cotton cultivation in six divisions of the Punjab province which are situated mainly in Faisalabad and Sahiwal. Cotton economy in Pakistan employs most of the country's labor force and claims a big pie of exports.

Source: The Financial Express (March 13, 2011)
 

 

Cotton yarn exports down in India

NEW DELHI, Mar 10 (Commodity Online): India's exports have registered a growth of 49.8 per cent during February 2011, at $ 23.6 billion. But exports of cotton yarn, iron ore and fruits & vegetables are on the negative on account of export ban on these commodities, said a press release from the government. Interacting with the media persons here Thursday, Rahul Khullar, Commerce Secretary of India, informed that during the period April-February 2010-11, exports have reached a level of $ 208.2 billion at a growth of 31.4 per cent while the imports were $ 305.3 billion with a growth of 18 per cent and a trade deficit of $ 97.1 billion. During the interaction, Khullar informed that India's imports in February 2011 were $ 31.7 billion. He further clarified that the import figures are only the rough estimates and the final figure is subject to change. Balance of trade for the month of February stood at - 8.1 billion US dollar. On the export growth, Khullar said that India has crossed $ 200 billion during February and forecast for this fiscal would be around $ 235 billion. He also stated that exports from the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are doing very well and it is expected a huge growth from SEZs.

Source: The Financial Express (March 11, 2011)
 


Record prices raise global cotton acreage

WASHINGTON, Mar 2 (Commodity Online): World cotton area is projected to rise by 7 per cent in 2011/12 to 36 million hectares, the largest in 17 years, in response to record prices in 2010/11, according to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Farmers are expected to expand cotton area in 2011/12 in all producing countries, ICAC said. World cotton production is projected to increase by 9 per cent to a record exceeding 27 million tons. The largest increases in mill use are projected for India, China, Pakistan and Turkey.

Source: The Financial Express (March 3, 2011)

 

Australia forecasts increased cotton, sugar output, less wheat

Cotton production in Australia, the fourth-largest shipper, may reach a record next year after rains filled dams, while sugar output may gain even after cyclone and flood damage, according to the government's commodity forecaster, reports Bloomberg. Output of cotton may climb to 1.1 million metric tons in the year from July 1 compared with 839,000 tons this season, and the sugar crop may rise to 3.85 million tons from 3.62 million, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics & Sciences said in a report today. The wheat harvest may drop 7.8 per cent as lower yields offset an increase in the area, it said. Global prices of farm commodities have surged on harvest disruptions and stronger demand, with the Food and Agriculture Organization's World Food Price Index reaching a record in January. Increased Australian output of sugar and cotton may be part of a global response to the agricultural gains. Cotton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York reached an all-time high $2.0893 a pound on Feb. 18, while raw sugar gained to a 30- year high of 36.08 cents a pound on Feb. 1

Source: The Financial Express (March 2, 2011)

 


Cotton falls from record on signs of robust global output

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Bloomberg): Cotton futures fell from a record on speculation that the global crop will increase, replenishing a deficit that led prices double in the past five months. Production will exceed demand by 1.2 million tonnes in the season starting August 1, making up for about a third of the shortfall in the past two years, Cotlook Limited, an industry researcher, said Saturday. Earlier, cotton jumped the most allowed by ICE Futures US to a record $2.0893 a pound and then tumbled by the limit. Prices may "wane over the balance of 2011 as global production rebounds and inventories begin to rebuild," Luke Mathews, a strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a report. Cotton futures for May delivery, the most-active contract measured by open interest, fell by the maximum of 7 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to settle at $1.9493 at 2:33 pm on ICE in New York. The price for March delivery dropped 7 cents to settle at $1.9702 after rising to an all-time high of $2.1102. Futures jumped by the exchange limit in the past two days. World output will gain 13 per cent to a record 27.65 million tons, more than the projected 4.4 per cent increase in consumption Birkenhead, England-based Cotlook said Saturday in its first estimates for the new season. In China, the world's biggest producer and consumer, output will increase 15 per cent, the company said. 1

Source: The Financial Express (February 21, 2011)

 

 

 

April 2011

 

Govt. to import 0.4m tons of cotton soon

CCCI urges Turkey to lift anti-dumping duty on RMG

Customs bond commissionerate in Chittagong next June: NBR chief

Separate ministry for RMG

BGMEA gets new president

Govt packages for foreign investors attractive: DCCI chief

RMG sector to get special facility at SEZs: PM

Country's export to Germany, UK, France increases

New EU origination rules to boost Bangladesh exports

Chittagong port able to handle transit cargo now: CPA chairman

Bangladesh missions exceed export target in July-Jan period

India garment exports may suffer on cotton yarn shipments

Pakistan's textile, food exports surge

Cotton farming to spread to Pakistan villages

Cotton yarn exports down in India

Record prices raise global cotton acreage

Australia forecasts increased cotton, sugar output, less wheat

Cotton falls from record on signs of robust global output

 

 


Govt. to import 0.4m tons of cotton soon

Commerce Minister M Faruk Khan Sunday said the government would take expeditious steps to import 0.4 million tons of cotton for meeting the demands in the country, reports UNB. "We're communicating with India and Uzbekistan for the import of cotton," he said when a delegation of Bangladesh Textile Mills' Association (BTMA) met him at his Secretariat office in the city Sunday.

Source: The Financial Express (April 11, 2011)

 

CCCI urges Turkey to lift anti-dumping duty on RMG

CHITTAGONG, Apr 10: Bangladesh business leaders have urged the government of Turkey to withdraw anti-dumping duty on export of readymade garments (RMG) and textiles from Bangladesh. The business leaders made the request through the 10-member Turkish business delegation during its visit to the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry this evening. The CCCI directors welcomed the business leaders of Turkey headed by president of Turkey-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr Fikret Cicek. Other members of the delegation are TBCCI secretary general Murat Karaca, Ahmed Cekir, Dr Mehmud Said, Hasan Huseyin, Baris Aydin, Nasir Bayraktar, Huseyin Cetin, Mahmut Akarsu and Ismail Akbas. Senior vice president of the CCCI Mahbubul Alam who chaired the meeting said: "As Muslim states Turkey and Bangladesh have been maintaining excellent friendly and business relations but it is very unfortunate that the Turkish government has recently imposed safeguard duty for which our exporters have to pay 17 per cent duty in the sector."He asked the delegation members to import greater volume of readymade garments, leather, jute and ceramics from Bangladesh.

Source: The Financial Express (April 11, 2011)

 

Customs bond commissionerate in Chittagong next June: NBR chief

CHITTAGONG, Apr 7: Import and export departments of Chittagong Custom House will be amalgamated in June next and a full-fledged bond commissionerate will be set up at the same time to facilitate export of readymade garments (RMG). NBR Chairman Nasir Uddin said this while exchanging pre-budget opinions with the business enterprises, industrialists and representatives of different trade bodies at the CCCI auditorium Thursday morning. Exporters of readymade garments have long been making allegations against the National Board of Revenue that the exporters are facing obstacles to the export of RMG due to lack of bond commissionerate and amalgamation of Customs export and import.

Source: The Financial Express (April 8, 2011)

 

Separate ministry for RMG

With the global economy showing some signs of recovery in recent months from the crisis, the exports of Bangladesh's readymade garments (RMG) have remarkably picked up. But some domestic hurdles are still in place. The immediate past president of the Bangladesh Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), while speaking at a farewell reception late last week, pointed out some such problems like bureaucratic snags and infrastructural deficit that "are slowing down the normal growth of the RMG sector". He demanded the creation of a separate ministry for the RMG sector. The former BGMEA top boss also disclosed a few statistics about the staggering additional costs that the RMG owners had to count due to inadequate infrastructures, high lending rates, soaring cotton prices and mismanagement at the country's main seaport. According to him, last year RMG exporters had to spend an extra Tk.20 billion on air shipment to meet the buyers' deadline. The production cost in the RMG sector has gone up by at least 45 per cent because of power and energy crisis. The crisis had forced the RMG units to spend an estimated Tk 40 billion on fuel oils last year to operate their own generators to cope with frequent power outages.


Notwithstanding this, it has emerged as the largest contributor to the country's export earnings, thus serving as one strong source of its economic growth. The RMG exporters are otherwise helpless about meeting the challenges of negative developments in the international market; they have no control over the exogenous factors like the shrinking demand for apparels in the recent times in the developed markets that were hit by one of the worst financial crises in the world's history.

Source: The Financial Express (March 30, 2011)

 

BGMEA gets new president

Newly elected president of Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin took charge Sunday from outgoing president Abdus Salam Murshedy. He sought cooperation from all to strengthen country's RMG sector. The charge was handed over to Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the BGMEA held on the day at the BGMEA auditorium.


Mr Mohiuddin said, "I will try to strengthen the country's ready-made garment (RMG) sector through establishing a congenial relation between the owners and the workers. He also sought cooperation of all garment owners in this regard.

Source: The Financial Express (March 28, 2011)

 

Govt packages for foreign investors attractive: DCCI chief

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Mr Asif Ibrahim Sunday said the government offers attractive packages for foreign investors to invest in different sectors in the country. "Foreign investors including the British entrepreneurs can invest in Agriculture, paper and pulp from jute, gas-based industries, power, fertilizer, renewable energy, RMG, Textiles, IT, leather and leather goods, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, electronics, light engineering, steel, infrastructure and tourism sectors considering the favorable environment in Bangladesh," he said at a round table in the capital. DCCI and British High Commission, Dhaka jointly organised the round table discussion on "United Kingdom (UK): Trade and Investment in Bangladesh" at the conference room of the Chamber. British High Commissioner in Dhaka Stephan Evans was present. He called upon the importers of the UK to import Bangladeshi products at zero rate of duty. He requested the SME entrepreneurs of Bangladesh to get information and other requirements of European Union (EU) market. British High Commissioner Stephan Evans said that there is a cordial bilateral trade relation between Bangladesh and UK. He mentioned that UK is focusing on energy, ports, infrastructure, software, textiles, ceramics, pharmaceuticals and the environment sector of Bangladesh.

Source: The Financial Express (March 28, 2011)



RMG sector to get special facility at SEZs: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged the owners of readymade garments manufacturing units to treat workers as their children and to be more sympathetic towards them, reports UNB. She said better outputs from the workers could be ensured through affection and winning their hearts. The Prime Minister was speaking at the Grand Gala Final of 'Premier Bank-Gorba (Pride)' arranged for the workers engaged in the RMG sector at a city hotel. At the same time she urged the workers to stay away from wrongdoing in the sector which ensures their livelihood. They should be vigilant that the sector does not fall victim to any conspiracy. Responding to a demand of the garments factory owners, Hasina said the government would set up special economic zones (SEZs) in the country where arrangements will be there for RMG sector. Appreciating the event organized for the workers, the Prime Minister said such initiative would help create solid bridge between workers and owners and it would strengthen the existing relations.

Source: The Financial Express (March 20, 2011)



Country's export to Germany, UK, France increases

Country's export to key destinations like Germany, the UK and France maintained a healthy growth in the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal (2010-11) as compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal (2009-10), reports UNB. In July-November 2010, exports to Germany totaled US$1195.34 million, which was 14.44 per cent of the total export earnings for the period. Of the amount, knitwear accounted for $752.00 million, followed by woven garment $346.75 million and frozen shrimp $19.13 million. Exports to the UK totaled $748.42 million in July-November 2010, which was 9.05 per cent of the total export earnings.


The export of readymade garment (RMG) items accounted for $617.02 million as against $506.42 million during the corresponding period of the fiscal 2009-10, showing a 21.84 per cent growth. The home textile export to the UK during the period was $32.37 million, while frozen shrimps $25.84 million and bicycles $30.31 million. Exports to France during the five months increased to $534.19 million, which accounted for 6.46 per cent of the total export earnings for the period. Exports to Italy totaled $286.99 million in July-November 2010 with knitwear accounting for $170.44 million, woven garment $82.33 million and leather $10.52 million. Exports to Belgium amounted to $217.78 million that included knitwear $87.48 million, woven garment $49.34 million, frozen shrimp $54.62 million and jute yarn and twine $10.13 million. Export earnings from the USA, the largest market for Bangladeshi goods, registered a robust growth in the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal totaling $1956.38 million, which was 23.64 per cent of the total export earnings.

Source: The Financial Express (March 18, 2011)
 


New EU origination rules to boost Bangladesh exports

A seminar on Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)-New Regulations on Rules of Origin in Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the EU- in progress in the city Wednesday. The revised rules of origin adopted by the EU will facilitate Bangladesh's export growth, Norwegian Ambassador Ragne Birte Lund said Wednesday. "The changes in the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) system should help trigger a further rise in export to our region from Bangladesh and to increase competitiveness of Bangladeshi exporters compared with non LDC countries" she said. The new GSP system, which came into effect from January 01, 2011, will allow Bangladesh to export its goods duty free or with reduced duty rates, she said. The country's export to Norway increased by 35 per cent last year and the GSP system will work as a catalyst to increase the growth in the years to come, she said. "The new GSP facility has opened up the window of opportunity to explore the untapped markets in the European Economic Area," Faruque Hassan, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said. With the effect of the new one-stage rules of origin, the country's 100 per cent apparel exports to EU,Norway, Switzerland and Turkey are now availing the GSP benefit, he said adding earlier only 42.72 per cent of the woven-wear textiles could benefit from the GSP system.

Source: The Financial Express (March 17, 2011)



Chittagong port able to handle transit cargo now: CPA chairman

CHITTAGONG, Mar 1: Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is capable of handling the transit cargo of the neighboring countries any day from now on, subject to the approval by the government. Mr Islam, who took over the charge of the CPA on February 13 last, gave answers to different queries in his first press meet on issues like port infrastructure, equipment facilities, modernization of the port under the CPA Master Plan, tender process, labor unrest, port security etc. Elaborating on the major seaport's ability to handle transit cargo, the CPA chairman said that the port handled 1.313 million TEUs (twenty equivalent units) containers last year.” If we give transit facility, the cargo handling will grow by 7.0 to 7.50 per cent over the existing volume of handling. Currently 40 per cent of the port's capacity is unutilized," he said. About the infrastructure and equipment facilities of the port, the CPA Member Nazrul Islam, who is also a member of the sub-committee on transit, said, if transit facility is given today, then 18.3 million metric tons of additional cargo are expected to be transported through our country annually. "The additional cargo to be handled through Chittagong Port will be about 0.18 million TEUs in terms of container which is barely 7.50 per cent of the cargo now being handled by the port," he said. About the security of the transit cargo, he said that the issues relating to separate yards in the port for stuffing and un-stuffing and the related security matters, will be decided, once the transit starts.

Source: The Financial Express (March 2, 2011)



Bangladesh missions exceed export target in July-Jan period

Bangladesh missions abroad have shown remarkable success in the July-January period of the current fiscal, surpassing the export target by US$ 1,888 million. A total of 36 missions out of 44 earned $ 11,864.2 million in the last seven months against their target of $ 9,976.43 million, according to the statistics of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). Officials said the expansion of the export market to new destinations contributed to the impressive performance of the missions. Six missions have however failed to reach their export target in the period. However those missions have been able to attract exports worth $ 45.2 million against the target of $ 109.04 million. Bangladeshi missions which have been able to achieve export target are in New Delhi, The Hague, Berlin, Amman, Ottawa, Nairobi, Hanoi, Canberra, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Riyadh, Dubai, Brussels, Moscow, Pretoria, Beijing, Paris, Tashkent, Washington, London, Stockholm, Tehran, Madrid, Kathmandu, Rome, Colombo, Ankara, Seoul, Singapore, Islamabad, Doha, Manila, Rabat, Tokyo, Thimphu, Cairo and Muscat. The missions that have failed to achieve target are in Tripoli, Bangkok, Yangon, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Brunei. Meanwhile, the country's exports registered a robust growth of nearly 40 per cent during the first seven months of the current fiscal, the EPB data showed. The export earnings during the July-January period of the current fiscal also surpassed the target by 18.56 per cent, the data revealed. According to the EPB figures, the country earned $ 12,184.19 million during July-January period of 2010-11 fiscal year through overseas sales compared to $ 8,712.44 million of the same period in the last financial year.


The major export earners like readymade garments, jute and frozen foods are showing good performance this year which has accelerated the overall growth though they failed to do the same during the period of the last fiscal.

Source: The Financial Express (February 15, 2011)

 

International

India garment exports may suffer on cotton yarn shipments

MUMBAI, April 2 (Commodity Online): With the India government lifting curbs on cotton yarn exports, the textile industry in India may suffer; so believes the Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) exporting knitwear and readymade garments over Rs 160 billion on an annual basis. The TEA expressed shock on the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) allowing cotton yarn exports earlier capped at 720 million kg on account of yarn prices sky-rocketing in 2010-11 season. Currently, this has been lifted on condition that cotton yarn should be registered with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) prior to shipments. The TEA feels that the move would raise prices of cotton yarn in the domestic industry, according to industry quotes in Financial Express. Many countries are already importing cotton yarn from India to manufacture garments. They are having advantages in the form of convenient bank interest rates, refund of VAT as well as low power costs. Naturally, these yarn importing countries would be able to compete with India as cost leadership is on their side. Eventually this would be toppling Indian garment exporters. Once the customer loyalty is lost it is very difficult to reclaim it, Financial Express mentioned TEA president, A Sakthivel, as saying. During 2009-10, India's garment exports earned $10.64 billion in revenues. The industry employs 7 million people.

Source: The Financial Express (April 3, 2011)



Pakistan's textile, food exports surge

ISLAMABAD, Mar 21 (APP): Exports of textile and food groups have witnessed considerable growth during the first 8 months of the current year as these surged by 28.67 per cent and 18.28 per cent respectively. The textile exports during July-February (2010-11) were recorded at US$8.637 billion against the exports of US$6.708 billion during the same period of last year, Federal Bureau of Statistics reported. The products that contributed to the positive growth in overall textile sector included raw cotton, cotton yarn and cotton cloth, exports of which increased by 12.97 per cent, 45.30 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. Similarly the exports of cotton (carded or combed) increased by 18.93 per cent, yarn (other that cotton yarn) by 15.36 per cent, knit wear by 26.63 per cent, bed wear by 16.68 per cent, towels by 6.40 per cent, readymade garments by 33,67 per cent, art, silk and synthetic textile by 64.17 per cent, made up articles by 18.63 per cent and the exports of other textile materials increased by 39.58 per cent during the period under review. Meanwhile, the textile exports witnessed increase of 50.82 per cent and 0.70 per cent in February 2011 as compared to the exports of February 2010 and January 2011, respectively.

Source: The Financial Express (March 22, 2011)
 


Cotton farming to spread to Pakistan villages

LAHORE, Mar 12 (Commodity Online): In a bid to tap the highly priced domestic and international cotton market, farmers in Lahore, Gujranwala, Sargodha and Rawalpindi of Pakistan's Punjab province will be motivated to produce modern varieties of cotton. The move would ensure 30 per cent more of modern varieties of cotton spreading to non-traditional areas where cotton crop is found to be suitable and sustainable given the conditions prevailing. The government thus has decided to extend the dividends to farmers in these area as well with the Punjab Agriculture Extension Department entrusted with the task, reported The Pakistan economy is still agrarian in nature and the government's new measure seeks to improve the output of cotton that would pay the farmers better price dividend. Currently 0.8 million acres of land fall under cotton cultivation in six divisions of the Punjab province which are situated mainly in Faisalabad and Sahiwal. Cotton economy in Pakistan employs most of the country's labor force and claims a big pie of exports.

Source: The Financial Express (March 13, 2011)
 

 

Cotton yarn exports down in India

NEW DELHI, Mar 10 (Commodity Online): India's exports have registered a growth of 49.8 per cent during February 2011, at $ 23.6 billion. But exports of cotton yarn, iron ore and fruits & vegetables are on the negative on account of export ban on these commodities, said a press release from the government. Interacting with the media persons here Thursday, Rahul Khullar, Commerce Secretary of India, informed that during the period April-February 2010-11, exports have reached a level of $ 208.2 billion at a growth of 31.4 per cent while the imports were $ 305.3 billion with a growth of 18 per cent and a trade deficit of $ 97.1 billion. During the interaction, Khullar informed that India's imports in February 2011 were $ 31.7 billion. He further clarified that the import figures are only the rough estimates and the final figure is subject to change. Balance of trade for the month of February stood at - 8.1 billion US dollar. On the export growth, Khullar said that India has crossed $ 200 billion during February and forecast for this fiscal would be around $ 235 billion. He also stated that exports from the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are doing very well and it is expected a huge growth from SEZs.

Source: The Financial Express (March 11, 2011)
 


Record prices raise global cotton acreage

WASHINGTON, Mar 2 (Commodity Online): World cotton area is projected to rise by 7 per cent in 2011/12 to 36 million hectares, the largest in 17 years, in response to record prices in 2010/11, according to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Farmers are expected to expand cotton area in 2011/12 in all producing countries, ICAC said. World cotton production is projected to increase by 9 per cent to a record exceeding 27 million tons. The largest increases in mill use are projected for India, China, Pakistan and Turkey.

Source: The Financial Express (March 3, 2011)

 

Australia forecasts increased cotton, sugar output, less wheat

Cotton production in Australia, the fourth-largest shipper, may reach a record next year after rains filled dams, while sugar output may gain even after cyclone and flood damage, according to the government's commodity forecaster, reports Bloomberg. Output of cotton may climb to 1.1 million metric tons in the year from July 1 compared with 839,000 tons this season, and the sugar crop may rise to 3.85 million tons from 3.62 million, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics & Sciences said in a report today. The wheat harvest may drop 7.8 per cent as lower yields offset an increase in the area, it said. Global prices of farm commodities have surged on harvest disruptions and stronger demand, with the Food and Agriculture Organization's World Food Price Index reaching a record in January. Increased Australian output of sugar and cotton may be part of a global response to the agricultural gains. Cotton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York reached an all-time high $2.0893 a pound on Feb. 18, while raw sugar gained to a 30- year high of 36.08 cents a pound on Feb. 1

Source: The Financial Express (March 2, 2011)

 


Cotton falls from record on signs of robust global output

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Bloomberg): Cotton futures fell from a record on speculation that the global crop will increase, replenishing a deficit that led prices double in the past five months. Production will exceed demand by 1.2 million tonnes in the season starting August 1, making up for about a third of the shortfall in the past two years, Cotlook Limited, an industry researcher, said Saturday. Earlier, cotton jumped the most allowed by ICE Futures US to a record $2.0893 a pound and then tumbled by the limit. Prices may "wane over the balance of 2011 as global production rebounds and inventories begin to rebuild," Luke Mathews, a strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a report. Cotton futures for May delivery, the most-active contract measured by open interest, fell by the maximum of 7 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to settle at $1.9493 at 2:33 pm on ICE in New York. The price for March delivery dropped 7 cents to settle at $1.9702 after rising to an all-time high of $2.1102. Futures jumped by the exchange limit in the past two days. World output will gain 13 per cent to a record 27.65 million tons, more than the projected 4.4 per cent increase in consumption Birkenhead, England-based Cotlook said Saturday in its first estimates for the new season. In China, the world's biggest producer and consumer, output will increase 15 per cent, the company said. 1

Source: The Financial Express (February 21, 2011)

 

 

January 2011

 

B'desh now 3rd largest apparel exporter to US

Chittagong port penal rate withdrawn

New BTMA leaders elected

RMG industrial park to be set up in Munshiganj

Indian cotton output to hit 35.7m bales: CAI

Local RMG sector set to face fresh blow

Bangladesh's export to USA sees robust growth in July

High priced RMG export orders pouring in

 

B'desh now 3rd largest apparel exporter to US

Bangladesh is now the 3rd largest exporter of apparel and clothing accessories to US market as she surpassed her competitors Indonesia and Mexico in the recent months, reports BSS. Until August 2010, Bangladesh was the 5th largest apparel exporter to the US after China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico, a release said in the city Friday.


But in the month of September 2010, Bangladesh with its monthly exports of $358 million overtook Mexico which exported $325 million to the US market in the next month. In October 2010, Bangladesh overtook another competitor Indonesia as she exported apparel worth $374 million compared to $365 million from Indonesia.


According to the analysis of the Commerce Wing of Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC, Bangladesh exported about $1.44 billion worth of RMG products to USA during July-October 2010 period, registering growth of 20.37 per cent compared to the same period of 2009.

Source: The Financial Express (January 1, 2011)



Chittagong port penal rate withdrawn

Chittagong Port Authority has withdrawn penal rate on store rent as congestion has eased at the premier port of the country, reports bdnews24.com. CPA imposed the penal rate, which was four times higher than the normal rate from December 18, in a bid to reduce congestion at the port. "The situation has improved as the shipping agents have started removing the empty containers from the port yard after imposition of the penal rate," said CPA secretary Syed Farhad Uddin Ahmed. About 3,000 empty containers were removed from the yard, he said. The CPA will revise the tariff structure after appointing a consultant to make it time-befitting, he added. Equipment and fuel costs have increased and it is expected that the tariff will be revised upward, he added. Farhad said the turnaround time has reduced to two and a half to three days in the recent times from five to six days couple of months back. "One must understand Chittagong is not an open port and arrival and departure of ships depend on high tide," he said. Even after loading of a ship, it may have to wait eight to nine hours for high tide, he explained.

 
Source: The Financial Express (December 28, 2010)


 

New BTMA leaders elected

Mr. Jahangir Alamin, Chairman of Shamsul Alamin Group and Managing Director of Fuad Spinning Mills Ltd have been elected President of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) uncontested for the term 2011 and 2012. On the other hand, Mr. Showkat Aziz Russell, Director of Partex Group & Managing Director of Amber Cotton Mills Ltd, Mr. M.A. Zaher, Chairman of Deep Textile Mills Ltd and Engr. Ahmed Ali, Managing Director of Padma Bleaching & Dyeing Ltd were elected Vice-Presidents of the trade body uncontested. The Election of the Board of Directors of BTMA was held recently in the city.

Source: The Financial Express (December 29, 2010)


 

RMG industrial park to be set up in Munshiganj

The Industries Ministry is planning to set up a readymade garment (RMG) industrial park outside Dhaka aimed at shifting the apparel from the capital, official sources said, reports BSS. A project earmarking Tk 4.38 billion has been taken to set up the planned RMG industrial park on 300 acres of land at Bausia under Gojaria upazila of Munshiganj district. Industries Minister Dilip Barua said that the main objective of the planned industrial park is to shift the RMG industry from Dhaka. Barua said such an industrial park would not only provide one-stop services to garment entrepreneurs but also reduce pressure of the potential apparel industry in the city. The park will have various facilities including attractive industrial plots, internal roads, drainage facilities, uninterrupted supply of utilities, Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), waste dumping yard and fire fighting equipment.

Source: The Financial Express (December 25, 2010)


 

Indian cotton output to hit 35.7m bales: CAI

NEW DELHI, Nov 20 (Commodity Online): India's cotton output is estimated to be of 35.7 million bales for 2010-11 seasons, said Cotton Association of India (CAI) on November 16th. The data is based on October 31 estimates. Of the total supply of 41.85 million bales, 650,000 bales are to be imported with total consumption including mill, non-mill and small-scale units pegged at 26.6 million bales. This would mean a surplus of 15.25 million bales which is higher than the surplus of 2009-10 reading at 13.6 million bales. A production aggregate of 21.6 million bales from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh implies a hike in production of 3.4 million bales compared to previous year's production. Gujarat, alone is expected to produce 12 million bales of cotton. Meanwhile, cotton prices registered the biggest weekly slump in sixteen months on Friday at ICE futures in New York, owing to improved projections in output from India. Cotton futures for March delivery slid by 4.6 per cent to stop at $1.2315 a pound at 2:49 pm New York time. In China, a major consumer of cotton, the industry is expected to import a record 20 million bales of cotton with 10.9 million bales in the year ended July 31 already contributing. Domestic demand from textile industry for cotton there is surging. This was revealed by Olam International Limited. Olam is having cotton operations in countries including USA, India, Australia, and Brazil. However, textile industry in India observed a nation-wide strike this Friday in protest of exponential prices for cotton yarn. Incoming reports suggest that the strike observed by power loom, handloom, made-ups and apparel makers has cost the industry Rs 2.0 billion.

Source: The Financial Express (November 21, 2010)


 

Local RMG sector set to face fresh blow

The country's RMG sector is set to face a fresh blow, as India has suspended new registration of cotton yarn export. Quoting reliable sources, the fibre2fashion. com, a popular website, reported Wednesday that the Government of India has suspended new registration of cotton yarn export. It also said the Government of India fixed a quota of 7.2 million cotton yarn export for the 2010-11 fiscal. The registrations for the export have already been completed, and the ministry in prudence has decided to discontinue registration for a period of 45 days. Bangladeshi apparel manufacturers have expressed their grave concern over the suspension of new export registration by India, and said such suspension would create an adverse impact on the local yarn market. "Local cotton market is already volatile due to shortage of global cotton production… the suspension will create yet another negative impact on the domestic yarn market," said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). The suspension will fuel price hike of cotton yarn in the local market, as a result of which the local exporters will lose their competitiveness in the global market, he said.

Source: The Financial Express (December 3, 2010)


 

Bangladesh's export to USA sees robust growth in July

Export earnings from USA, the largest market for Bangladeshi goods, registered a robust growth in July this year totaling US$ 446.61 million, which is 24.57 per cent of the country's total export income for the month, reports UNB. The export earnings from USA in July this year are also 38.10 per cent higher than the corresponding month of the last fiscal. The export earnings from USA in July 2009 were $323.40 million. Latest statistics, provided by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), show that of the total July export of $446.61 million, ready-made garment (RMG) items including knitwear accounted for $410.71 million with 36.99 per cent growth. The major items exported to USA in July 2010 were woven garment $291.88 million, knitwear $118.83 million, frozen shrimp $11.03 million, cap $2.27 million and home textile $5.36 million. Meanwhile, the export earnings from USA witnessed a declining trend in the last fiscal -- almost 8.9 per cent in 2009-10 from fiscal 2008-09. The most noticeable cause for this is the declining trend for RMG exports from Bangladesh to USA which was affected badly by the global recession. According to the EPB statistics, the country's export earnings from USA in the last fiscal totaled $3.14 billion, a 7.74 per cent fall over $3.4 billion registered in 2008-09. The last fiscal (2009-10) marked the end of an up-and-down decade for Bangladesh's exports to USA. From a high of $2.5 billion in fiscal 2000-01, exports had fallen to under $2 billion by 2003-04. Exports rose steadily to cross the $3.0 billion mark in 2005-06, and peaked at nearly $3.6 billion in the fiscal 2007-08. Then the country' s export earnings fell for two consecutive years in fiscal 2008-09 and fiscal 2009-10.

Source: The Financial Express (November 15, 2010)


 

High priced RMG export orders pouring in

CHITTAGONG, Nov 8: Bangladesh has become a lucrative country for export of readymade garments (RMG) with new orders for quality items pouring in, exporters said. "Orders for quite new RMG items like heavy jackets that was monopolized so long by China have started coming to Bangladesh following workers' growing unease and impatience with the sector there," said SM Abu Tayyab, former first vice president of BGMEA and currently director of CCCI. Not only China but other RMG exporting countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka are experiencing declining labour force, which is shifting to other sectors from the RMG demanding wage hike and related issues, he told this correspondent in his office at Nasirabad Industrial Area in the city this afternoon. RMG of both knitwear and woven is expensive in Vietnam compared to Bangladesh while Cambodia is lagging behind in the competition with us due to recent labour unrest, he said adding that export orders for high priced RMG, supposed to go to Sri Lanka, are also coming to Bangladesh. "Failure of China and other RMG exporters to comply with the importers' timeframe has created a unique opportunity for Bangladesh very recently. And if we can seize this opportunity it will bring a lot of prospect for the country's economy apart from generating more employment," he observed. "The government can utilize this advantage through extra incentives to the RMG exporters by way of lowering bank interest, depreciation of Bangladesh Taka against US Dollar, expediting the government's committed incentive and finally by creating an export-oriented environment in the country," he said.

Source: The Financial Express (November 9, 2010)

 

 

 

 

October 2010

 

Steps to make textiles free from pollution

India to allow cotton exports from November

Exports in Aug surge 31.25pc

Yarn price hike BGMEA, BKMEA, BTMA form coordination body

Bangladesh new investment destination: Thai expert

Cotton gains for a 5th day to 15-year high on increased Chinese demand

Country's export performance bounces back in July

Magic Sourcing Show- 2010 Garment, knitwear manufacturers receive US$57.5m export orders

Export earning target set at $18.5b for this fiscal

Bangladesh 4th Largest Garment Exporter: WTO

Jute Goods Export Sets New Record

 

 

Steps to make textiles free from pollution

Six leading European and US apparel buyers in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC) will assist the local textile manufacturers in improving the techniques of industrial waste management cost-effectively.


Indiscriminate disposal of industrial wastes is a major cause of environmental pollution and the team will draw up plans for alleviating the present situation to international standards. The European and US buyers are H&M, Mothercare, KappAhl, Lindex, Levi Strausss & Co and Solidaridad. IFC the World Bank group member, will mobilize the regional and international consultants under the initiative by transferring knowledge and building capacity of local consulting firms and service providers. The initiative will also help the textile sector's washing, dying and finishing sub-sectors improve their environmental standards and clean production giving value addition to the products. Textile industries annually discharge as much as 56 million tones of waste, 0.5 million tones of sludge and consume tremendous amount of energy for steam and hot water.

Source: The Financial Express (October 3, 2010)

 


India to allow cotton exports from November
TEXAS, Sept 29 (Commodity Online): India has decided to allow cotton exports from November 1. The decision was taken at the high powered cabinet ministerial committee in India chaired by the finance minster that included agriculture minister, commerce minister and the textile minister on September 28th has decided to allow cotton exports from India from November 1. The registration for exports will begin on October 1st with no export duty for the allowable target of 5.5 million bales (170 Kg/bale). Nayan Mirani, of Khimji Visram and Sons, Mumbai, who is also the Vice President of the Cotton Association of India spoke to this writer from Champaign, IL, USA and broke the news on the decision of India's Government on cotton exports. He emphasized that India's cotton farmers should get the price at international level. According to the country report submitted by India at the International Cotton Advisory Committee's 69th plenary meeting in Lubbock, USA last week, the cotton acreage during 2010-11 season is expected to be 11 million hectares and the production is expected to be 5.53 million metric tons which is 10 per cent improvement over 2009-10 season.

Source: The Financial Express (September 30, 2010)

 


Exports in Aug surge 31.25pc
The country's exports in August surged 31.25 per cent to US$ 1.79 billion from a year earlier, led by strong demand for the country's readymade garments, government statistics showed. Earning from knit textiles in July-August, the first two months of the current fiscal year, rose 32 per cent to nearly $ 1.6 billion from the previous year, while that from woven garments rose 30 per cent to $ 1.3 billion, data compiled by the state-run Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) revealed. In the fiscal year that ended in June, exports rose 4.11 per cent to $ 16.2 billion as the global economy gradually recovered, although that was still 7.9 per cent below the government's target amount. Sales in July rose 26.5 per cent to $ 1.82 billion, the country's highest ever monthly export earning.


Similarly, jute and jute goods enjoyed a net 20.69 per cent growth during the first two months of the current fiscal year, exporting goods worth $ 122.98 million. The government expects exports to climb 14 per cent this fiscal year to $ 18.5 billion, with targets of $ 7 billion from knitwear and $ 6.6 billion from woven garments.

Source: The Financial Express (September 28, 2010)

 

Yarn price hike BGMEA, BKMEA, BTMA form coordination body
In the wake of the yarn price hike, a nine-member coordination committee has been formed comprising members from the BGMEA, BKMEA and BTMA to safeguard the interests of these three associations while addressing the overall problems, reports UNB. The coordination committee comprises three members each from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association (BTMA). The meeting also decided that the BTMA will take necessary steps to contain the price hike of yarn within a rational and tolerant level, and that the coordination committee will take necessary measures to address other demands.

Source: The Financial Express (September 28, 2010)

 


Bangladesh new investment destination: Thai expert
Thai Bangladesh Business Council (TSBC) President Mingpant Chayavichitslip said Bangladesh having abundant reasonably priced workforce and sound incentive packages for the investors, has been an attractive investment destination. Mr Mingpant is leading a high level Thai Business delegation including officials from Department of Export Promotion (DEP), Board of Investment (BOI), and representatives of Federation of Thai Industries now in Bangladesh on a five-day business tour to be concluded today (Thursday). Bangladesh Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry President MA Momen said that Thailand and Bangladesh have a vibrant economic sector where both can share each other's resources and exchange technical know how. In the recent years, Bangladesh has established itself as the cheapest production base in South Asia. With low cost labor and low cost infrastructure, Bangladesh is now recognized as one of the globally competitive production base particularly in labor intensive industries.


Momen conveyed that the new industrial policy and the PPP (Public Private Partnership) initiative as declared by the government was geared to attract foreign direct investment especially in developing our infrastructure needed in energy, power, roads and telecommunications.

Source: The Financial Express (September 23, 2010)

 


Cotton gains for a 5th day to 15-year high on increased Chinese demand
PARIS, Sept 22 (Bloomberg): Cotton gained for a fifth day in New York, jumping to a 15-year high as rising Chinese demand for imports depletes world stocks of the fiber used to make textiles.


Cotton for December delivery rose as much as 1.4 per cent to $1.0224 a pound, the highest price since June 1995, on ICE Futures US The contract traded at $1.0192 at 12:06 p.m. Paris time. Imports of the fiber into China doubled in 2010's first eight months from a year earlier, according to figures from Customs General Administration published Tuesday. The global stocks-to-use ratio for cotton is forecast to fall to 38 per cent in the year ending in July, the lowest level since 1994-95, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Global cotton use will rise to 120.5 million bales in the year that started Aug. 1, the USDA estimates, outpacing production of 117 million bales and becoming the sixth year that usage exceeds the world crop. Global cotton inventories will slump 3.3 per cent to 45.4 million bales at the end of the marketing year on July 31, the USDA forecasts. A bale weighs about 480 pounds. The most-active New York cotton future has increased 35 per cent this year. Inventories in warehouses monitored by ICE were down 96 per cent this year as of Sept. 20.

Source: The Financial Express (September 23, 2010)

 


Country's export performance bounces back in July
The country's export performance bounced back in July of current fiscal experiencing a 27 per cent growth piggybacking on the readymade garment sector. The export sector earned $1.817 billion revenue in July when most of the sectors witnessed growth by a good margin, according to latest figure disclosed by the Export Promotion Bureau. RMG sector contributed 81 per cent to the total export earning with knit garment sector earning $798.66 million with a growth of 22.55 per cent while oven garment sector earned $671.28 million with a growth of 28.62 per cent. RMG sector sprang back to normal life as the impact of global recession withered and the back-to-school season began in the US in August.

Source: The Financial Express (September 9, 2010)

 


Magic Sourcing Show- 2010 Garment, knitwear manufacturers receive US$57.5m export orders
Bangladeshi garments and knitwear manufacturers and exporters have grabbed export orders worth US$57.5 million during the four-day long Magic Sourcing Show- 2010 held in Las Vegas. State-run Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) in a statement said that a total of eight Bangladeshi garment manufacturers took part in the mega trade show held from 16 to 19 August at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Hosted by Advanstar Communications, Inc. the event succeeds in providing reliable supply chain venue for garment industry at international front. It proves to be a connecting link for more than 700 manufacturers, fabric & trim suppliers, print & design studios, service providers, vested in more than 40 countries.


Participants in the mega show were Apparel & Footwear Manufacturers, Fabric & Textile Mills, Trim & Components Suppliers, Textile Print Design / Print Studios and Service Providers.

Source: The Financial Express (August 31, 2010)
 


Export earning target set at $18.5b for this fiscal
The government has fixed a US$ 18.5 billion export target for the current fiscal year with a growth projection of 14.2 per cent in comparison to the previous year's export earnings. Commerce minister Faruk Khan, following a meeting at his office on Wednesday, finalized the export target. Faruk said power and gas crises have significantly improved in recent days. This will help raise production in mills and factories leading to the increase in export volume. Targeted break-up for the country's prime exporting products are -- knitwear products US$ 7131.62 million, woven garments US$ 6614.77 million, jute and jute goods US$ 1115.38 million, home textiles US$ 563.5 million, frozen food US$ 450 million, leather US$ 298 million, agro-products US$ 266 million, and US$ 111.15 million for chemical products.In the last FY, Bangladesh exported goods worth US$ 16.204 billion, which was 4.11 per cent higher than that of FY 2008-09. 1

Source: The Financial Express (August 26, 2010)

 

 


Bangladesh 4th Largest Garment Exporter: WTO
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has rated Bangladesh as the fourth largest garment exporter, contributing around 3.0 per cent to total international exports, said a top official of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Saturday.


Faruque Hassan, the BGMEA vice-president, made the disclosures while speaking to a group of reporters at his office in the city. Bangladesh exported apparels worth US$ 12.6 billion in the immediate past fiscal year of 2009-10, which accounted for nearly 80 per cent of the country's total overseas sales. Bangladesh is the biggest exporter of cotton T-shirts and stands second in exporting cotton pullover and jeans to European countries. In terms of volume, the country is the second biggest exporter of cotton trousers to the United States, he said. Currently, there are about 5,000 garment factories in Bangladesh, employing around three million workers, 90 per cent of whom are women.

Source: The Financial Express (July 25, 2010)

 


Jute Goods Export Sets New Record
J
ute and jute goods export set a new record in the outgoing fiscal year, mainly due to hike in prices of raw jute in international market and growing demand of eco-friendly diversified products across the globe. The country's export of jute and jute goods posted 76.43 per cent growth in July-June period of 2009-10, earning a total of US$736.44 million, according to statistics by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). Export of jute yarn and twine enjoyed 88 per cent rise in the same period in fiscal year 2009-10 against the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, earning $397.69 million. Besides, export of raw jute enjoyed 32.46 per cent growth in outgoing fiscal year than the previous year. The earnings from raw jute were $196.27 million in 2009-10 while $148.17 million in 2008-09. The EPB statistics revealed Monday that the jute and jute goods have secured the position of the second largest export item from Bangladesh.

Source: The Financial Express (July 21, 2010)

 

 

 

April 2010

 

  Obama to show Bangladesh as model of food security

  Corporate governance improving in Bangladesh

  British HC visits textile industry

  Germany keen to invest in Bangladesh

  Country's RMG, textile sectors have good potential: Minister
  Generator suppliers count cost of gas crisis in RMG sector
  Wal-Mart CEO for setting up special apparel zone

  Port transit facility a milestone for economy, says BGMEA
 Bangladesh 'replacing China as major exporter of cheap RMG'
  Bangladesh gets $0.97m export order in Kolkata trade fair

 

 

Obama to show Bangladesh as model of food security

The US President Barrack Obama has selected Bangladesh as a model for food security and will present it in the next G-8 summit.
In that light, the US will provide Bangladesh with a good portion of the assistance of $100 million pledged for food security of the developing nations, said US Agriculture Attaché David Leishman to Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque at his office yesterday.


A food ministry official said the decision was taken on the basis that the country showed efficiency in handling food crisis in the periods after the natural disasters.


The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and agriculture department of the US are working to provide the assistance, said a food ministry press release.


Leishman, the US attaché for Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, said the food management system in Bangladesh is impressive, but the country takes a lot of time in floating tenders to import food, which discourages other countries to bid.
"Food prices change rapidly in the international market. If Bangladesh cuts time in floating tender, more and more countries and exporters can participate in the bidding," he told the minister.


The US will help Bangladesh enhance its capacity for food security and agriculture, Leishman said.


He, however, mentioned the US does not provide food grains free of cost, except for specific programmes like feeding of schoolchildren.
Abdur Razzaque said the country has seen an increase in food production, but it is yet to achieve autarchy. However, the government is working to that end, he noted.
 

April 9, 2010

 

Corporate governance improving in Bangladesh

Brummer & Partners Bangladesh in association with the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) of BRAC University Thursday organized a day-long workshop on the state of corporate governance in Bangladesh. Objective of the workshop, organised at a local hotel, was to discuss the state of corporate governance in Bangladesh with a view to addressing the challenges of establishing a strong base for corporate governance in Bangladesh, organizers said. Corporate governance has recently become a key topic of debate and discussion in restructuring of state-owned enterprises and the development of a modern private sector corporate system in Bangladesh. Participating companies at the workshop were ACI, Al-Amin Group, Apex Group, Citibank NA, GEMCON group, Green Delta Insurance, Rahimafrooz, Ananta Group, Nitol-Niloy, HSBC and others.

March 19, 2010

 


British HC visits textile industry

British High Commissioner Stephen Evans has recently visited ACS Textiles Bangladesh Ltd, at Rupganj in Narayanganj, says a press release. Masud Dowood Akbani Managing Director, Max Cohan, Martin Sluekis Directors as well as other officials of the company were present on the occasion. The high commissioner observed the production process and the officials apprised him of the different operational aspects of the company. The company set up with fully British finance is producing export quality textiles which are exported in USA, European countries and Australia.
 

March 14, 2010

 

Germany keen to invest in Bangladesh

German ambassador in Dhaka Holger Michael has evinced keen interest of investors of his country to come and invest in textile, apparel, electro-mechanical engineering and other potential sectors in Bangladesh. The German envoy said that trade and commerce between the two friendly countries had been on the rise in the recent years and would ultimately reach the level of expectation in the years ahead. He also referred to the recent trade policy and the duty free access of the Bangladeshi products in Germany. Holger Michale was exchanging views with the Chairman of Bashundhara Group Ahmed Akbar Sobhan after attending a contract signing ceremony at the conference hall of the Group's corporate office recently.
 

March 11, 2010

 

Country's RMG, textile sectors have good potential: Minister

there is a good potential for the country's Readymade Garments (RMG) and Textile sectors as China started increasing its concentration on hi-tech products moving away gradually from the traditional RMG and Textile sector, said Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui. He said, "China has profound attention on hi-tech than RMG and Textile. We can avail this advantage." The minister made the remarks while addressing a seminar on 'Italian Textile Technology', which was organized by Italian Trade Commission (ICE) at a city hotel Tuesday, reports UNB. Italian Ambassador to Dhaka Itala Maria Occhi, ICE Representative Erica Di Giovancarlo, President of Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) Dr Sandro Salmoiraghi and President of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) Abdul Hai Sarkar also spoke on the occasion. An Italian business delegation arrived in the capital Monday on a three-day visit aimed at offering new Italian technologies to Bangladeshi companies and boost export of Italian textile machineries. In his address, Abdul Latif Siddiqui said, we can fulfill the demands for machineries and accessories of RMG and textile sectors and develop the sectors by maintaining a good business link with Italy. We have been using Italian products since long.
March 10, 2010


Generator suppliers count cost of gas crisis in RMG sector


The prevailing gas crisis in the country's readymade garment (RMG) sector is making new investors shy away from investing in capital machinery, industry insiders said at the textile and garment exposition in the city Friday. The Dhaka Textile and Garment expo- 2010, one of the biggest expositions of garment machinery, came to an end on the day. The bulk of the ongoing energy shortage is felt by the big names among the power solution providers, the exhibitors said, as the turnover of such companies was hit hardest. Major suppliers of gas-run generators for the garment industries reported a drop of almost 50 per cent in sales over the last 12 months, which they blamed on the unyielding gas crisis. "The total market size or the compiled capacity of the gas-run generators sold in the country last year was 300 MW", said Rashedul Islam Bhuiyan, an official of Bangla Cat, one of the largest power solution providers in the country. "However, due to the ongoing gas shortage our sale of generators for this year could drop by almost 50 per cent", he added.
February 6, 2010

 


Wal-Mart CEO for setting up special apparel zone


A visiting top executive of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retail chain, has suggested setting up of a comprehensive industrial zone for the apparel sector in Bangladesh for convenience of buyers and to attract greater foreign investment, reports bdnews24.com. C. Douglas McMillon, President and CEO of Wal-Mart International, made the suggestion during a meeting with leaders of readymade garment industry at Radisson Hotel in the city Friday morning, BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedy told the news agency following the one-hour talks. "He told us that they consider Bangladesh an important source of apparels. They want to buy more products from here. For that he suggested setting up of a combined industrial zone with adequate gas and power supply for the sector," Murshedy said.


"Such an industrial zone will help raise foreign investment apart from ensuring convenience of the buyers," he said, quoting the Wal-Mart chief executive as saying.
Wal-Mart buys over a billion dollars worth of readymade garments from Bangladesh annually.
February 6, 2010

 

Port transit facility a milestone for economy, says BGMEA

CHITTAGONG, Feb 2 (BSS): BGMEA leaders here said Tuesday transit facilities to neighboring countries would usher new prospects in the country's economic progress and it could be considered as a milestone for the country's economy. "Country's economy is possibly going to new height of progress through optimum utilization of the capacity of our seaports that remained unutilized for long," Nasiruddin Chowdhury, first vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said in reply to a query at a press conference on CAFAXPO-2010 scheduled to begin from Thursday here.
February 4, 2010

 

Bangladesh 'replacing China as major exporter of cheap RMG'

CHITTAGONG, Feb 02: The RMG exporters today said that Bangladesh is gradually replacing China as a major exporter of cheap readymade garment as the developed countries are yet to recover from the global recession. "The country's RMG sector was mostly dependent on the buyers from America and the European countries. But our market is now expanding to Japan and other countries. They are showing more interest on our cheap garments," BGMEA first vice president Nasir Uddin told the media. He said, the economic recession could not harm our RMG export so much as was feared because the recession compelled the buyers to opt for cheaper garments from countries like Bangladesh instead of China. The BGMEA leaders were addressing a press conference at a hotel in the city on the occasion of Chittagong Apparel, Fabrics & Accessories Exposition (CAPAXPO) 2010.
February 3, 2010

 

Bangladesh gets $0.97m export order in Kolkata trade fair

Bangladeshi companies received confirmed and prospective export orders worth US$ 0.97 million in the '23rd Industrial India Trade Fair (IITF). The eleven-day trade fair concluded recently at Milan Mela Ground in Kolkata, the capital of Indian state West Bengal, said a press release. Began on December 24, 2009, the trade fair was organized by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI) in collaboration with the Government of West Bengal and India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO). Around 700 exhibitors from different parts of India and six foreign countries -- Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey and Vietnam -- participated in the fair. Bangladesh was the focus country this year and the theme of the fair was 'Climate Change and Renewable Energy'. Bangladesh got the best award owing to excellence executed in the 23rd IITF. The participation in the fair would open up a new horizon of cooperation between Bangladesh and India and would boost up trade ties between the two countries in future, the release added. 1
January 26, 2010

 

 

January 2010


  Look for new markets for RMG, PM asks exporters 20th BATEXPO-'09 opens
  Muhith again says 'no' to RMG stimulus

  RMG sector condoles Neil Kearney's death
  RMG exporters urge NBR to withdraw scanning fees
  Pak cotton output to cross 12.5m bales in 09-10
  70,000 bales of cotton output expected next season
  For a separate RMG ministry

  Global cotton output to rise 10.0pc in 2010-11

  Indian countervailing duty hits B'desh RMG exports

  Deal to improve environment compliance in textile, apparel sector

  Import orders for capital machinery rise by 24pc
 

 

Import orders for capital machinery rise by 24pc

Import orders for capital machinery increased by over 24 per cent in the first five months of the current fiscal, indicating that the country's overall situation in industrial sector had started improving. Letters of credit (LCs) worth US$685.18 million were opened to import machinery during July-November period of fiscal 2009-2010 (FY10) against $550.36 million in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics. "The data clearly shows that our entrepreneurs are placing higher orders to import capital machinery," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE Wednesday. Most of the import orders for capital machinery were placed from different sectors including textile, readymade garment, pharmaceuticals and packaging industry, the BB official said quoting the latest figures.

January 14, 2010

 

Deal to improve environment compliance in textile, apparel sector

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Export Oriented Garments Washing Industries Owners Association (BEOGWIOA) and South Asia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) have entered into a tri-partite agreement recently to improve environment compliance in the textile and apparel sector.The project is styled SEDF-BGMEA-BEOGWIOA programme.The project will also help promote cleaner production methods in the textile sector, BGMEA sources said. The SEDF will develop the capacity of the associations to monitor and provide advisory services to their members on issues of environment compliances.

January 12, 2010

 

Indian countervailing duty hits B'desh RMG exports

 

The country's readymade garment exporters have been counting additional duty to enter the Indian market, as the latter has imposed countervailing duty on subsidised export items of other countries, industry insiders said. Apparel items imported from Bangladesh are being subjected to countervailing duty on the basis of MRP (maximum retail price) instead of ad-valorem. Two RMG products---cotton and blended or other natural or man-made fibre fabrics---will fall under the increased tariff measures. Duty on cotton garment imported from Bangladesh will increase to 11.8 per cent or US$21.52 from 8.46 per cent or $15.43 per piece due to changes in tariff in the recent budget. Taxes on blended and other natural or man-made fibre fabrics also increased to 19.5 per cent or $51.51 from 12.84 per cent or $33.89.

January 9, 2010

 

 

Global cotton output to rise 10.0pc in 2010-11

WASHINGTON, Jan 05 (Commodity Online): Global cotton production in 2010/11 is forecast at 24.2 million tons up nearly 10 per cent, according to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). The production in China is forecsted at 7.7 mn tonnes in 2010/11, one million tons higher than in the current season. Most of the gain is expected to come from increased area in response to higher domestic prices.


Production in India is estimated little changed from 2009/10 as most of the gain in yields tied to improved technology has already been achieved. US production is expected to climb by one-tenth to reach three million tons, primarily because of increased cotton area. Production in Pakistan, Brazil and Uzbekistan, collectively, is estimated at 4.6 million tons in 2010/11. The three countries are accounting for 4.3 million tons of production in 2009/10. Forecasts by the IMF, UNCTAD, the US Federal Reserve and OECD all indicate that the recovery in world GDP growth during 2010 and 2011 will be gradual. Accordingly, since income growth is an important explanatory variable in models of fiber use, projections of world fiber use at the consumer level for 2010 and 2011 indicate only modest growth. Based on the expected change in the ratio of ending stocks to use outside China and the average Cotlook A Index to date, the 2009/10 Cotlook A Index is estimated at 70 cents per pound. The 95 per cent confidence level extends from 64 cents to 77 cents

January 6, 2010

 

For a separate RMG ministry

For the overburdened Ministry of Industries, the RMG industry is only a part of its responsibilities. Understandably, the RMG sector cannot get its total attention. A separate ministry for RMG industry would lighten the burden of the industry ministry. The new ministry would be able to pay the needed undivided attention to the RMG sector. The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has been pleading for long for a separate ministry to look into RMG affairs. So far, the suggestion, despite its merit, got no due response from the government. A full-fledged ministry alone can do justice to the RMG industry, needing undivided attention. A new ministry would be supportive of RMG growth needs in the short, medium and long terms. The RMG problems, both complex and many, cannot be left under the carpet, unattended.

December 27, 2009

 

70,000 bales of cotton output expected next season

The country is likely to see around 70,000 bales of cotton production in the next season, as the Cotton Development Board (CDB) has planned to bring more lands under hybrid cotton cultivation, reports UNB. "In the 2010-'11 season, we're expecting around 70,000 bales of cotton harvest, as hybrid cotton will be cultivated on new lands apart from the traditional ones," CDB Executive Director Dewan Md Intajul Islam told the news agency. He said the use of hybrid seeds would be raised by three times next year and more plain areas of Habiganj and the three hill districts would be brought under its cultivation. In the 2009-'10 season, some 31,500 hectares of land were brought under cotton cultivation with a production target of 60,000 bales..

December 26, 2009

 

 

Pak cotton output to cross 12.5m bales in 09-10

ISLAMABAD, Dce 23 (Commodity Online): World's fourth largest cotton producer, Pakistan said its output for 2009-10 season is likely to cross 12.5 million bales. According to Pakistan's Agriculture ministry, this was against 11.8 million bales of previous season. Pakistan had earlier estimated about 12 million bales in the crop year ending in March after pest and virus attacks in the major cotton-growing area of Punjab province. But output had increased significantly in the southern province of Sindh, 'By Dec. 15 about 11.29 million bales have arrived at the ginning factories as compared to 9.09 million bales recorded in the same period last year,' the ministry said.

SDecember 24, 2009

 


RMG exporters urge NBR to withdraw scanning fees

Readymade garment (RMG) exporters and the NBR are at loggerheads over newly slapped scanning fees for export consignments in the Chittagong port, which the government imposed from early August. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have found the scanning fees as an additional financial burden on exporters affected by the global financial recession. The Association has requested the government to withdraw the newly imposed scanning charges of US$ 5.0 and $2.5 for full container load (FCL) and light container load (LCL) respectively which the exporters Tk 1.3 million per day. But, the NBR has said the government has levied the service charge for scanners, that the exporters have to spend in other countries including Sri Lanka and Singapore. A senior customs official said: "The government has installed the scanner machine to reduce hassle and time in exporting goods to the largest destination US and EU where scanning of each container before shipment is mandatory." According to the estimate of BGMEA, around 200 FCL containers or 3000 LCL containers are either cleared as imports or forwarded as exports every day from the Chittagong port.

December 1, 2009
 

RMG sector condoles Neil Kearney's death

Leaders of Bangladesh garments sector were shocked at the news of sudden death of Neil Kearney, general secretary of Belgium-based International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF). Neil was in Dhaka on a visit to see the international compliance progress in RMG factories in Dhaka. “We lost a great friend of Bangladesh garment who fought for the welfare of the core segment of our economy,” Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), acting president of BGMEA said in a press conference in the city Thursday.

November 20, 2009
 

 

Muhith again says 'no' to RMG stimulus

The government has again taken a hard line on providing financial incentive package to apparel sector seeking funds to bounce back from a downturn induced by global meltdown, reports bdnews24.com. "It is not right that the world will come to an end, if a child cries. The government will have to consider all sectors," AMA Muhith told the news agency Monday. "Those sectors will come under incentive package that have been really affected by economic recession," Muhith said at the Secretariat. The industry's top trade body, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), at a media briefing said Sunday they saw a 30 per cent dip in spot orders from buyers at this year's BATEXPO, the country's largest apparel fair. Spot orders at the last year's expo amounted to $55.45 million; this year they totalled just $41.64 million, BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedy said. Murshedy sought assistance from the government under incentive package. In April, the government rolled out a stimulus package of Tk 34.24 billion. However, the two major trade bodies of the garments industry, the BGMEA and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), were highly critical as the highest export-earning RMG sector was excluded altogether from the proposedpackage. The two trade bodies later welcomed the revised Tk 50 billion package included in the FY 2009-'10 budget, although they again expressed concern that the RMG sector still received no specific allocation.

November 10, 2009

 

Look for new markets for RMG, PM asks exporters 20th BATEXPO-'09 opens

The 20th apparel and textile exposition (BATEXPO 2009) kicked off Thursday to attract buyers from new destinations and invite fresh investment in the country aiming at taking the sector back to the pre-recession time. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the fair at a function in a city hotel and urged industrialists to look for big markets for readymade garments (RMG) in different Asian, African and Latin American countries. "We must look for new markets apart from the United States and Europe," she said adding that good opportunities have now become visible in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. Sheikh Hasina said the government is still trying to get duty free access to the United States market and informed the audience that decision has already been taken to raise this demand during the upcoming ministerial level meeting of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Geneva. The Prime Minister said the government has taken several steps, including formation of task force and declaring a stimulus package to help the RMG sector face the global recession the reflection of which is visible to some extent in the sector.

November 6, 2009
 

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