‘Collaboration key to recovery apparel sector recovery’

To support the recovery of the Textile and Garment Industry of Commonwealth Countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan from the devastating impact of the pandemic, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), on Wednesday, hosted a webinar titled, ‘CWEIC Sector Webinar: Textiles and the Garment Industry.’

Md Siddiqur Rahman, the Vice President of FBCCI, and Rubana Huq, the President of BGMEA alongside a panel of government and business leaders including manufacturing, logistics, buyers, and retailers convened to identify the key issues facing the industry and proposed solutions in the webinar moderated by Sir Hugo Swire, the Deputy  Chairman of CWEIC.

Md Siddiqur Rahman, the Vice President of FBCCI as a panellist in the webinar stated, “FBCCI’s proactive advocacy since February 2020, helped formulate a wise roadmap to recovery for the next three years in a broad gauge of socio-economic agenda including fiscal and non-fiscal measures to support the supply chain, transport, logistics, production, export-import, improving liquidity and money supply, health and safety, etc..

“Additionally philanthropic initiatives to aid frontliners and marginalized groups & goodwill gestures to multiple governments were taken, we pivoted very quickly to making 90 to 100 million face masks in a very short period. FBCCI also formulated Covid19 FBCCI Health Advisory Protocols for the Commercial Officers, Industries, and other business sectors to reopen in the coronavirus situation including logistics, retail, agriculture,” he added.

Praising the Govt. of Bangladesh’s economic interventions Siddiq further said, “The government expenditure for money circulation, increasing the banking liquidity, social safety net program with food aid to 45 million people & Cash Transfer to 5 million families were Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s comprehensive financial stimulus package worth total US$ 12.1bn to extensively support businesses, exports, agriculture and informal sector including the marginalized communities. The stimulus package was a part of the Government’s quick and judicious response to the crisis.”

Regarding the disruption of the supply chain, the Vice President of the apex trade body FBCCI stated, “The disruption was global. We are all in this together. As we move forward it is important to work and collaborate together to recover from this unprecedented crisis and I would urge and request CWEIC to be proactive on the matter”

Highlighting the need for collaboration among the Commonwealth nations utilizing the CWEIC platform, Rubana Huq said, “The initial scenario for Bangladesh was apocalyptic as we were slammed with order cancelations amounting up to $526 million from the UK alone. Our situation was incomparable to anyone else as we had 4.1 million workers who were directly affected by the disruption. But with the Prime Minister’s intervention through the stimulus package and the resilient community of Bangladesh has helped us recover faster.”

“Hardly eight countries of the Commonwealth naturally sourced from Bangladesh. Of that the major total sourcing does not even cross 10 billion and whereas Commonwealth Imports over 51 billion dollars’ worth of only apparels from the rest of the world. We must acknowledge that all of us have to work together on collaborated competition in contrast to a knee-jerk reaction. We are already in discussion with multiple brands from the UK and we are hoping to see good results soon”, she added