New window opens for RMG sector

Fresh orders for PPE pouring in

The corona -hit readymade garment (RMG) sector in the country is on its way to revival as the export of personal protective gears --- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks and other safety equipment ---has showing an upward trend in the last few months.

Factory owners said some of the cancelled or suspended work orders have resumed while many factories have started getting fresh work orders, which include PPE, masks, gloves and others.

Beximco last month exported 6.5 million medical gowns to US brand Hanes and it expects to export protective gears worth $250 million this year.On the other hand, Fakir Apparels has also got export work order of 20 million surgical gowns. It also eyes export of protective gears, worth $200 million.

At the moment 33 factories in and around Savar and Gazipur have such work orders while garment owners are expecting more factories to join the queue as more orders for these protective gears will pour in this year opening a new window of opportunities for the RMG sector.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh exported a total of US$ 11.57 million worth of masks, gloves and PPEs from July last year to May this year. These products were also exported in huge quantity last month.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders told this correspondent that due to the spread of coronavirus they had to count unexpected losses. However, at present, as the world is fighting against the pandemic, PPE, masks and other personal protective gears are in high demand, and that goes to their benefit .

BGMEA Vice President Arshad Jamal said, “Several factories are making PPEs and masks. We expect more orders for such products throughout the year. In the meantime, Bangladesh has exported large quantities of medical gowns, gloves and other protective equipment to the United States.”

However, people concerned feel that it’s too early to draw any conclusion as to how far we will be able to minimize the losses incurred during the last few months.

“There is no denying that new products will open up new possibilities. It is a good sign, but the work orders, which we are getting, is very compared to our loss. Based on such export orders we cannot say our export is reviving. Right now we are assessing our position; we can give an overall improvement report in early September”, BGMEA’s Senior Vice President Faisal Samad told Bangladesh Post.