Bangladesh’s export receipts plunged by 4.79 per cent in the first 8 months of the current fiscal year vis-à-vis the corresponding period of 2018-19 fiscal year while in the month of February apparel exports plunged by 1.8 per cent from the same period the year before, missing the target by 10.74 per cent.
This has given rise to fear among the apparel exporters that export reversals may continue further in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak that has now spread to a large number of countries across the globe.
“We don’t know what to do. We had already been struggling in terms of global competitiveness. Now this Coronavirus is destroying everything we have,” expressed apprehensions former President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, speaking to the media.
He also added “There is panic among us, and March will also witness huge impact on exports.”
Considered the backbone of the country’s economy and accounting for over 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s total exports, any impact on apparel exports runs risk of impacting not only the country’s garment manufacturing industry but Bangladesh’s overall trade and economy as well.