BANGLADESH – The recent problems plaguing Bangladesh’s garment industry has seen export orders for the country’s ready-made garment (RMG) accessories also drop significant in the last six months, in turn hitting the domestic packaging industry.
A significant proportion of RMG accessories used globally, such as zippers, buttons, labels, hooks, hangers, elastic bands, thread, backboards, butterfly pins, clips, collarbones, and their packaging cartons are produced in Bangladesh, where the packaging sector is considered part of the accessories industry.
There are about 1,050 accessories and packaging manufacturers and exporters across the country, employing around 250,000 people.
Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) president Rafez Alam Chowdhury said the frequent factory shutdowns, political turmoil, and the garment factory fires and building collapses have had such an adverse impact on garment accessories exports that export growth will likely “ witness a negative trend in the next fiscal year”.
Chowdhury, which is also managing director of Evince Accessories Ltd, said a number of international buyers have cancelled their shipment orders: "Because of the political turmoil, the international buyers are losing their confidence in us, so garment accessories export order has been slowing down."
For Dynamic Packaging Ind (Pvt) Ltd, which manufactures cartons for domestic RMG exporters, sales orders have dropped by 20-25% in the last six months compared to the corresponding period last year
Munir Hossain, Dynamic Packaging’s managing director, said the political uncertainty in Bangladesh makes international buyers concerned about smooth supply and shipment: "We have doubt whether the US$4.5 billion export target set for the RMG accessories sector by the BGAPMEA is achievable in the current fiscal year 2012-2013 due to buyers' apathy".
In the last ten months, Bangladesh exported US$3.7 billion worth of apparel accessories and packaging products – US$350 million more than that of the previous fiscal year.