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Backward linkage industry must be improved

Backward linkage industry must be improved

Md Mohiuddin Rubel is the youngest Director of the executive committee of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). He has become director of the apex body as an youngest entrepreneur of the sector.
After becoming a director of the apex body of the apparel sector, he has been working on branding, fashion technology and sustainability in the garment industry. Mohiuddin, also Director of the Denim Expert Limited, discussed about the RMG sector is as follows:
About existing performance of the apparel sector, Mohiuddin said, “As an youngest entrepreneur of the sector, I am recalling the predecessor, those who have brought the sector to a good position. The sector had started export with $12000 only. By this time, the sector reached $30 billion. Now, we dream of exporting of $50 billion.”
Their contribution for this is undeniable. Because of them, we have been able to come to today’s place, he said.
“But with the changing business pattern, we have to be changed. We have to take the industry forward by competing with the competitors,” he added.
Presently, the work environment and safety of the workers in the industry are being given more importance by the buyers, was not before. It’s a big challenge of the sector, he said.
“Our average cost has been increased by about 30 percent in the last five to seven years. On the other hand, buyers have reduced prices by about 30 percent during this time. Similarly, workers’ benefits are increasing, other costs are rising,” he said.
“Specially, amid the ongoing pandemic situation, some of us are taking responsibility of the one thousand workers, some are taking the responsibility of 10,000 workers. But, who will take the responsibility of us? The government and the brands will have to come forward to take the responsibility of us. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to survive,” Mohiuddin said.
About the bargaining skill, he said the entrepreneurs of our country are not very much skilled in price negotiation, whereas the Indians and Sri Lankans are very smart to bargain with the buyers.
“So, we have to develop our skill in this regard. We need unity so that the buyers can’t force us with lower price,” he said.
About the stimulus announced by the government, he said, the foresightness of the incumbent Prime Minister have been exposed though the announcement of the packages as this sector would have sat down if she had not announced the packages timely.
About the future challenges of the sector, he said, “Many changes have come in the sector due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The pattern of work has been changed. Demand for knitwear has increased as the people are unwilling to come out and attending any events.”
So, we need to further improve the backward linkage industry as the importing raw material timely is a big issue at the moment, he added.
He said research and infrastructural improvement are urgently needed for the development of the sector.
“The world-wide vaccination activities have begun, which will impact the apparel markets and hopefully, the purchase order, which was cancelled or postponed, will be reassured very soon. But the pandemic has created a financial gap, which will not go soon after taking the vaccine. It will take time at least one and half year,” he added.

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