23/05/2016
Due to intense global competition and a devaluation of the US dollar.

Words by

Kendell Bardenhagen

Garment factories seem to constantly be in the news at the moment, and not for good reason. Beyoncé’s luxe activewear line, Ivy Park, has been defending allegations over labour conditions at its MAS holdings factories in Sri Lanka. 

But that’s old news.

In Bangladesh, 319 garment factories will have to close this year.

The closure comes as a result of major loss in productivity, mainly due to intense global competition and a devaluation of the US dollar.

President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Sidduiqur Rahman, was reported in Fashion United saying it's worrying more and more factories are having to close their doors.

“It is a matter of concern that 618 factories shut down in the past three years after their productivity dropped due to various reasons. Three-hundred-and-nineteen more factories are also going to close down,” said Rahman.

Bangladesh is the second largest garment exporter worldwide and employs a whopping four million workers according to BGMEA. With more factories closing, this number is set to reduce. 

In efforts to keep job numbers high in garment factories, Rahman has called on the Government to focus on the survival of the sector.

“The RMG sector is providing work to those young people. That is why the government should focus on the sector through policy support in the next budget to enhance the capacity of the sector so that it can create more jobs,” said Rahman. 

He’s already suggested halving the tax at source for the garment sector back to 0.3 percent, the way it was from 2005-2013. He’s also urging for a no-value-added tax to be imposed on garment accessories.

Where to from here is anybody's guess.

[Via Fashion United]

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