As the BNP gears up for its anti-government movement over the increase in transport fares, and the prices of essentials and fuel oils, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said political stability is necessary, amid the upcoming national elections, to sustain the growth of the country's RMG sector.
"We are hopeful that, with cooperation from all sides, things [before and during the general polls] will remain stable and will not lead into any conflict," said Faruque during a press briefing at the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Bhaban in Uttara on Saturday.
The press conference was organised to highlight the details of the "Made in Bangladesh Week" to be held in Dhaka next November.
Speaking at the event, Farque said, "The growth we are seeing is due to the past stability.
"We hope they do not disturb the business for the sake of development and growth of the country."
In response to a question, he said, "We are not worried [about the upcoming election-centric conflict]. We want no conflict."
The national elections are scheduled to be held in the country next year.
After the last election in 2018, there has been almost no major political conflict in the country.
However, the opposition party BNP is trying to enter the field on various issues and this has created new tension.
Prior to this, there was widespread violence across the country in connection with the national elections on 5 January, 2014, in which many people were injured.
A year after that, the opposition BNP held a strike for three months to demand the cancellation of that election.
However, after the political situation stabilised, business started to return to normal.
Before the 2008 elections there was political violence in the 2005-06 or earlier elections, due to which business was damaged.
In view of this, Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) president in his statement said if there is a conflict around elections, it will cause damage to the business of the country.
In the press conference, the BGMEA president also expressed hope that Bangladesh's share in the global apparel market will be 10% by 2025.
He said our payroll share in 2020 was 6.3%, but is expected to be 8% in 2022 and rise to 10% in 2025.
In the financial year 2021-22, Bangladesh has exported more than $52 billion to the world market, of which RMG is more than $42.61 billion.
Bangladesh's garment exports increased by more than 35% in the last financial year. Despite the global crisis, the export growth in the first two months of the current financial year was 26%.
Currently, the size of the global apparel market is around $500 billion. BGMEA has recently announced a roadmap of $100 billion apparel exports by 2030.
In the latest fiscal year 2021-22, Bangladesh exported garments above $42 billion. The BGMEA president said there will be a 15% growth in the current financial year 2022-23. As such, apparel exports are likely to reach $49 billion this fiscal.
At that time, in response to a question regarding the transit facility given to Bangladesh by neighbouring India, he said that transit will play a positive role in increasing Bangladesh's professional exports. Especially now, the possibility of sending goods to other countries will increase using the Indore Port.
Faruque said because of the increase in the price of cotton, the price of cotton has been reduced slightly.
Now some of us are going to reduce the price. He urged the exporters "not to do this."
The press conference was attended by the vice-president of the organisation Shahidullah Azim and other senior leaders.
Meanwhile, the Made in Bangladesh Week is starting in November to showcase the achievements of Bangladesh's garment sector to the world. It has been informed by BGMEA that the positive image of Bangladesh's garment industry will be presented to the world and positive stories including compliance and environment-friendly factories will be presented.
It was informed in the press conference that the Prime Minister is scheduled to officially inaugurate the programme on November 13.
According to the BGMEA, emphasis is being placed on creating an ecosystem within the textile and apparel industry in collaboration with key stakeholders in the supply chain.