Covid-19 impacts garment production in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, the second largest apparel manufacturing hub in the world, is feeling the pinch because of raw materials shortage due to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China, the top trade partner of Bangladesh. The raw materials and accessories supply needed for garment manufacturing might dry up if production and imports from China do not normalize quickly.

Readymade garments are a mainstay of Bangladesh's economy, contributing almost 16 percent of national output. In the fiscal year ending June 2019, the country exported garments worth about $34 billion.

“There is an impact, as all raw materials come from China. We are now trying to divert the mode of transport and are trying to airlift the goods, as production is already running with a delay of 2-3 weeks. If a situation like this continues for a week or more then it will impact the production,” said Prithu, supply chain manager at Crystal Martin.

There are around 4,000 garment factories in Bangladesh, which import over 50 percent of textile and textile-related goods (raw material) including garment accessories from China. Also, about 40 percent of capital machinery and spare parts for the textile and garment industry requirements are sourced from China.

“Bangladesh is very concerned about the coronavirus situation across the world. Our government and the health ministry are taking initiatives in training people, especially in rural areas, on how to cope with such a situation. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the demand has gone down in Bangladesh, some of the shipments were canceled in the last one month, but the situation is not that gloomy in our country right now. We are hopeful that things will get better in the coming days,” a Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) spokesperson said.


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