Bangladesh readymade garment export to the European Union is likely to remain unaffected even if the second COVID-19 wave takes a more serious turn, reports The Business Standard. Work orders for the next spring/summer season in the country are pouring in with enquiries for next winter season also increasing. Apparel makers have shipped their Christmas and winter orders, to be sold from mid-November, says BGMEA.
Experts demand quick release of raw materials
To continue positive developments, Bangladeshi government and entrepreneurs need to adopt new strategies, says, Sayema Haque Bidisha, Research Director-South Asian Network, Economic Modelling (Sanem). Moreover apparel businesses need to enhance their manufacturing efficiency and curtail lead times to 30-45 days. And the government should ensure a quick release of imported raw materials for RMG manufacturers, she adds. It should also persuade apparel buyers and retailers against cancelling orders or stopping new placements till next January at least.
Partial lockdowns to curb second COVID-19 wave
As new COVID-19 cases continue to surge, governments across Europe are introducing new measures to deal with it. France has introduced a night-time curfew while Spain, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland have gone for partial local lockdowns. Germany, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal and Greece have also introduced measures to control the second wave. The only country that has not introduced any lockdown measures is Sweden. Yet, many of its citizens are voluntarily maintaining social distancing and have started working from home where possible.
Economic constraints are forcing countries to opt for partial lockdowns instead of complete shutdown, opines Ashikur Rahman Tuhin, Former Director, BGMEA. Shutting down of economic activities during the first wave hardly resulted in any positive outcome. Hence, WHO has recommended continuance of economic activities with compliance to its health safety protocols, says Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director, Center for Policy Dialogue.
No impact on new orders
The second COVID-19 wave has not impacted orders from European buyers as their online sales have increased significantly and physical shops remain open. Buyers continue to place new orders with Bangladeshi suppliers as they get more profits from suppliers.
Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, CEO, Fatullah Apparels said, Bangladeshi apparel exporters have been receiving new orders for the next summer season though the quantity of these orders has reduced. However, he calls this more a seasonal issue than the pandemic effect.