Bangladesh - Garment makers oppose FDI in apparel sector
Dated- 20 Apr , 2012 - Bangladesh
Garment makers yesterday expressed their reservation about the inflow of foreign direct investments in apparel and textile sectors as they said local players are strong enough to cater to customers worldwide.
“The FDI could be allowed into certain segments of the RMG sector, as currently Bangladesh is graduating from basic garments to high-end items,” said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Mohiuddin led a business delegation to a meeting with Industries Minister Dilip Barua at the latter's office in Dhaka.
The government can allow FDI into specialised textile products so that the garment makers can purchase fabrics from the local market, instead of importing them from China and other countries, he said.
Foreign entrepreneurs can contribute little during the outbreak of any unrest in the garment sector as they cannot communicate with the workers, Mohiuddin said.
“Local entrepreneurs meet the workers at least once a week which is necessary for building good industrial relations between the workers and owners. In case of foreign entrepreneurs, it does not happen as they stay outside the country,” he said.
A vested quarter in collaboration with its foreign associates is trying to destroy the country's strong RMG sector as Bangladesh has become the second largest apparel exporter in the world after China, he alleged.
“We want protectionism about FDI in the RMG sector, as protectionism is practised worldwide to protect local industries,” he said.
The BGMEA chief also urged the government to solve the prevailing gas and power crisis in industrial units that hampers production immensely.
Urging garment entrepreneurs to start producing high-end products instead of basic garment items, the industries minister said the government will protect the local industries at first in its policies.
Barua suggested the garment makers produce more value-added items to create more employment opportunities in the country.
“We want to create an industry-based economy. We are also in favour of protectionism for the sake of the local industries,” he said.
The minister suggested the garment entrepreneurs diversify both markets and exportable products for industrialisation.
The government has already finalised five special economic zones across the country where garment entrepreneurs can establish factories in need, he said.