Unrest costs Bangladesh possible $3 bln in new business, says trade body

DHAKA Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:59pm IST

People gather in front of a burnt bus after pro-strike activists set fire to it, in Dhaka April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

People gather in front of a burnt bus after pro-strike activists set fire to it, in Dhaka April 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Biraj

Related Topics

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers ride their camels as they rehearse for the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony in New Delhi January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

"Beating The Retreat" Rehearsals

Rehearsals are on for "Beating the Retreat" ceremony which symbolises retreat after a day on the battlefield, and marks the official end of the Republic Day celebrations.  Slideshow 

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh may have missed $3 billion worth of potential new business in readymade garments this year as buyers shifted to other countries or held back orders while it battled strikes and political violence, the head of a trade body said on Tuesday.

The country has been rocked by protests and counter-protests since January, when a tribunal set up by the government to investigate abuses during the war of independence against Pakistan began convicting leaders of an Islamist party.

At least 100 people have died in clashes and business confidence has been rattled.

"At least $500 million worth of garment orders have been diverted to our next-door neighbour India since January," said Muhammad Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

"We may also have received up to 40 percent less orders from our foreign customers," he told a news conference.

On Tuesday, much of the country was again shut down in response to a 36-hour strike called by the opposition which accuses the government of using the war crimes tribunal to persecute them.

Islam said the slowdown in the developed markets of the United States and Europe was already hurting Bangladesh's exports of garments and business leaders were trying to find alternative markets.

"We were exploring new markets in countries like Russia, Brazil, Japan, Chile, Argentina, India, China and South Africa," he said.

"New buyers from those countries had just started to come in to explore our country ... but left without placing any orders due to political violence and unrest," Islam said.

Vietnam and Cambodia had picked up orders in recent days, he said.

Shipments of goods had been disrupted because of the strikes, prompting threats by foreign buyers to cancel orders.

Garments account for more than 80 percent of Bangladesh's annual export income and employ more than four million people, mostly women.

(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Anis Ahmed and Sanjeev Miglani)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Reuters Showcase

ONGC Share Sale

ONGC Share Sale

ONGC share sale scheduled for this fiscal - oil minister  Full Article 

The Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

Record Earnings

Apple iPhone sales trample expectations as profit sets global record  Full Article 

'Umrika' At Sundance

'Umrika' At Sundance

From Oscars to Sundance, Sharma and Revolori discuss India's 'Umrika'  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Smooth Wawrinka, ill Serena through to Melbourne semis   Full Article 

India's Male Tenor

India's Male Tenor

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key  Full Article 

Japan Hostages

Japan Hostages

Mother of Japanese captive begs PM to save son held by Islamic State  Full Article 

Tripoli Attack

Tripoli Attack

Frenchman, American among those killed in Tripoli hotel attack - Libyan official.  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

Blizzard hits Boston and New England, spares New York despite forecasts.  Full Article 

Spying Row

Spying Row

Spying program leaked by Snowden is tied to campaign in many countries.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage