Thursday, May 30, 2024

H&M’s Bangladesh plan is big

A senior official at the Swedish retail giant says

Business Desk :

H&M has a big plan for sourcing from Bangladesh, but prices will rise by up to 12% after the country graduates from the least-developed countries group in 2026.

Bangladesh will lose preferential market access and face 10-12% export duties after becoming a developing nation.However,the European Union has extended a three-year grace period, so it can enjoy duty-free status until 2029.

“Our suppliers are important. Bangladesh is the safest source among H&M’s 19 sources, “H&M’s regional country manager for Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Ethiopia is Ziaur Rahman said.

“We’re staying here.”

As a member of the panel, Rahman discussed “Bangladesh’s LDC graduation-Impediments and Way Forward” during Made in Bangladesh Week in Dhaka’s International Convention City, Bashundhara.

H&M is the single largest foreign clothing buyer in Bangladesh, sourcing $3.50 billion last year. The Swedish clothing retailer imports 20% of its goods from the country.

Rahman’s remarks come as the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has set a goal of increasing the country’s share of the global apparel market to double digits in three years and earning $100 billion by 2030.

Despite global economic slowdown, the country exported $42.61 billion in garments in the last fiscal year, ending in June. It has a 6.8% market share in the global apparel supply chain.

Rahman said 18% to 20% of his company’s Bangladesh-sourced products would be affected by the duty imposition after graduation.

He suggested Bangladesh improve product diversity because 75% of exported garment items are limited to the top five products, despite being the world’s second-largest apparel supplier.

“Improving efficiency and making more garments from manmade fiber can help overcome the challenges of the duty imposition after the LDC graduation,” he said.

Rahman also promised that if garment worker wages in Bangladesh rise, H&M will raise the prices of products sourced from the country to help manufacturers offset additional costs.

Bangladesh is M&S’s top sourcing destination. Shwapna Bhowmick, its regional head for Bangladesh and India, said local manufacturers should use more MMF to boost garment exports.

Artificial fiber use is growing globally.

MMF apparel accounted for $222 billion of the $440 billion global garments market last year, compared to cotton’s $190 billion.

A recent study found, Bangladesh’s apparel exports will top $95 billion by 2030 if the country can increase its MMF market share to 12% from less than 5% at present.

Almost half of all clothing exported around the world is made from MMF, while 42% is made from cotton. Seventy-two percent of Bangladesh’s garment exports are cotton-based, while only twenty-four percent are made from man-made fibers.

Sharifa Khan, secretary of the Economic Relations Division, suggested local manufacturers ship more MMF-made garments for better prices.

She said Bangladesh has already secured five years as the transition period when it comes to duty benefits instead of three years supposed to be granted.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is reviewing extending the transition period. Bangladesh doesn’t expect another extension, she said.

Bangladesh’s economy is resilient, but we must stand on our own.

She suggested aligning GSP with the SDGs so all LDCs benefit.

The ERD secretary also claimed international retailers and brands pressure local suppliers to raise conditions.

Such as, formerly it was said obtaining GSP Plus status in the European Union market Bangladesh required to comply to 27 international conventions. According to Khan, now the number of conventions has increased to 32.

Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary of the prime minister, said Bangladesh is the largest denim supplier to the United States despite a 16.50 per cent duty.

“This indicates that the export of garments will not be affected after the LDC graduation.”

Kaikaus also said a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that visited the country recently did not come to rescue Bangladesh by providing loans.

Rather it was a regular visit and they wanted to know about the government’s preparation for the LDC graduation, he said.

The IMF has agreed to provide $4.5 billion in loans to Bangladesh.

The IMF team also did not attach any condition to the loan except for enquiring about the situation of the Export Development Fund (EDF), according to Kaikaus.

The IMF has long been prescribing Bangladesh calculate and regularly publish the net foreign currency reserves.

The central bank currently shows gross foreign currency reserves by including $7 billion of the EDF.

“LDC graduation is a challenge but it is possible to overcome it and grow,” Kaikaus said.

Nazneen Ahmed, the country economist of the UNDP, said if Bangladesh can continue its manufacturing growth even after the LDC graduation, it will not fall into the middle-income trap.

“The conventional country branding will not do. Branding should include all of the potential sectors,” said Riaz Hamidullah, Bangladesh’s ambassador to the Netherlands.

He called for using technology, innovation and design in products.

Asif Ibrahim, a director of the BGMEA, demanded signing trade deals with major trading partners to avail more market access after graduation.

In another session styled “Responsible Business Needs Global Alliance on Due Diligence – the Perspective of Manufacturers & the Western Buyers”, Senior Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said Bangladesh signed the Global Sustainability

Compact a long ago that called for shared responsibility. But it is not discussed with importance, he said.

The senior secretary said Bangladesh has improved a lot in line with EU due diligence over the past decade.

He is concerned that the EU’s due diligence requirements could be used as a non-tariff barrier.

Made in Bangladesh Week, which co-organized by the BGMEA and the Bangladesh Apparel Expo, will wrap up today.

Related News

Emirates eliminates online payment limit for flights in BDT

Business Desk : Emirates has made online payment more convenient for customers purchasing tickets in Bangladesh. Now, customers can use locally issued debit and credit cards to complete payment transactions online for flight tickets and enjoy the convenience of unlimited transactions in BDT. Customers can enjoy the ease of paying for tickets on, ... Read more

Aziz Khan next chair of Unicef Int’l Council

Business Desk : Unicef has announced Muhammed Aziz Khan as the incoming chair of the Unicef International Council, succeeding the inaugural chair, Maria Ahlstrom-Bondestam. He will assume the position in November this year, a press release issued by Unicef said yesterday. The Unicef International Council is a unique community of approximately 150 private philanthropists ... Read more

NJ Diamonds brings vibrant luxury jewelry to Bangladesh

Business Desk : NJ Diamonds, a new luxury jewelry brand, has officially launched in the capital at Banani road 11. The event was a glittering affair, attended by top influencers and industry elites, marking a significant milestone for the Bangladesh jewelry market. NJ Diamonds, founded by Noorjahan Abdullah & Labiba Abdullah, are set to ... Read more

NCC Bank celebrates 31 years of operations

Business Desk : NCC Bank celebrated its 31 years of operations at the bank’s head office in Dhaka on Friday. Md Abul Bashar, chairman of the bank, inaugurated the 31st anniversary programme, said a press release. NCC Bank started its journey on May 17, 1993. “During the 31 year-long-journey, the bank played a remarkable ... Read more

21 winners receive gifts from Nagad’s mega campaign

Business Desk : A total of 21 winners have received different gifts by taking part in the country’s biggest transactions campaign – initiated by Nagad, a popular mobile financial service provider. Recently, Nagad’s Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer Sadat Adnan Ahmad and Executive Vice-President and Deputy Chief Marketing Officer Muhammad Solaiman handed ... Read more

Hatil Chairman Selim H Rahman honoured with CIP award

Business Desk : Selim H Rahman, the esteemed Chairman and Managing Director of HATIL, a leading name in the furniture industry, was conferred with the prestigious Commercially Important Person (CIP) award for his pioneering contributions to the export of the furniture sector. The ceremony held at the Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel, Dhaka, on ... Read more

Emirates announces first destinations for A350 service

Business Desk : Emirates has announced the first set of destinations to be served by its A350 aircraft entering service in September 2024. The airline plans to deploy its latest aircraft type to 9 destinations in the coming months, offering customers its latest signature cabin experiences.10 new A350s are expected to join the Emirates ... Read more

Adidas nearly ready to open outlet in Dhaka

Business Desk : Adidas, the German athletic apparel and footwear giant, is set to open its first outlet in Bangladesh this month at Gulshan-1 in the capital. The three-stripes will partner up with leading local conglomerate DBL Group, which will facilitate its entry into the Bangladesh market. “We have planned a soft launch on ... Read more

Shwapno opens new outlet in Pabna

Business Desk : Popular retail chain shop “Shwapno” has opened a new outlet in Pabna’s Sujanagar at Molla Super Market. The inauguration took place at 5:30pm on 30 December, reads a press release. Present at the event were Ahmed Firoz Kabir, Member of Parliament for Pabna-2 (Sujanagar, Aminpur), Chairman Shahinujjaman Shahin of Sujanagar Upazila, ... Read more

Shwapno launches new outlet at Bashundhara

Business Desk : Shwapno, the largest retail chain in Bangladesh, launched an outlet in the Bashundhara area on Thursday offering a month-long discount with a home delivery facility. On behalf of Bashundhara Group, media advisor Mohammad Abu Tayeb inaugurated the outlet as guest of honour at the Rupayan shopping centre in the residential area, ... Read more

With ‘Face ID’ and ‘Fingerprint’ login bKash app is now more secure, user-friendly

Business Desk : bKash app introduces biometric ‘Face ID’ and ‘Fingerprint’ login features to make users’ daily transactions easier and safer. Alongside, exciting new features – ‘Group Send Money’, ‘Request Money’, ‘Savings Marketplace’ and selecting ‘Default Card’ to use the ‘Add money’ service from VISA card to bKash – are also included in the ... Read more

Grameenphone wins ‘Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023’ in Financial Inclusion

Business Desk : It was an evening to rejoice and remember for Grameenphone at the Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023, as the organization’s sincere efforts with flagship initiatives GP Accelerator and GP Academy received due recognition. Renowned media house The Daily Star, along with CSR Window, honored the winners at the Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence ... Read more

Banglalink wins the best sustainability award

Business Desk : Banglalink has won the ‘Best Sustainability Excellence Initiative’ award in the ‘Disaster Response’ category at the ‘Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023,’ jointly presented by The Daily Star and CSR Window Bangladesh. The award is in recognition of Banglalink’s contribution to societal welfare through the innovative integration of an Early Warning System ... Read more

StanChart wins Mastercard Excellence Awards

Business Desk : Standard Chartered Bangladesh has clinched awards in three categories at the “Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023”. The categories are “Excellence in Mastercard Contactless (Issuing)”, “Excellence in Mastercard Credit Business (International)”, and “Excellence in Mastercard Business (Innovation)”. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, chief executive officer of the multinational bank, received an award from Atiur Rahman, ... Read more

Nagad wins Mastercard Excellence Award 2023

Business Desk : Nagad, a popular mobile financial service provider in Bangladesh, has clinched “Mastercard Excellence Award” 2023 for its contribution to credit card bill payments. The mobile money carrier has been honoured with this prestigious award as the “Master Evolution”, reads a press release. On behalf of his company, Nagad’s Executive Director Maruful ... Read more

Prime Bank clinches Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023

Business Desk : Prime Bank PLC, a leading private commercial bank of the country, has won Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023 for Debit Business (Domestic) category. Nazeem A Choudhury, deputy managing director of the bank, and Masudul Haque Bhuiyan, head of Cards & Alternative Delivery Channel, received the award from Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor ... Read more

Zakia Rouf Chowdhury elected as vice chairman of Bank Asia

Business Desk : Zakia Rouf Chowdhury has been elected as Vice Chairman of Bank Asia Limited recently at the 508th meeting of the Board of Directors of the bank. She has an illustrious business career of more than 35 years in the private sector of Bangladesh. Since inception, she has been holding leadership positions ... Read more

Yamaha celebrates 7 years with ACI Motors

Business Desk : ACI Marts is the sole distributor and technical collaboration partner of Yamaha motorcycles in Bangladesh. ACI Motors started its journey in 2007 as a subsidiary of renowned company ACI Limited. In 2016, Yamaha started a new journey in Bangladesh with ACI Motors. At present, more than 116 Yamaha 3S (Sales, Service ... Read more

Walton boosts TV exports to Denmark, Ireland

Business Desk : Bangladeshi global electronics brand Walton has boosted up its exports of television to Denmark, Ireland and other European countries as the demand of Walton television goes high in those countries in recent times, according to a press release. Walton Global Business Unit’s Vice-President Syed Al Imran said that Walton has been ... Read more

Mutual Trust Bank launches privilege centres in Dhaka

Business Desk : Mutual Trust Bank Ltd recently launched its two revamped privilege centres in Dhanmondi and Uttara celebrating “MTB Retail Fest 2023”. Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and CEO of the bank, inaugurated the centres as the chief guest, said a press release. Privilege Banking customers enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits, ... Read more