Entrepreneurs demand policy changes to help industry grow further

The country’s clothing industry once depended on imported accessories and packaging items, but local manufacturers are now meeting demand, helping to reduce overall costs and lead times.

During the 1990s, entrepreneurs started producing accessories nationally to solve the complications involved in manufacturing the finished products.

Currently, almost all types of accessories and packaging items are produced in the country and have gradually become the main backbone industry of the clothing industry.

At present, there are more than 1800 garment accessories and packaging industries across the country and they manufacture more than 30 garment accessories and packaging items, meeting nearly 90% of the demand in the sector. clothing.

Currently, domestic manufacturers produce poly bags, hangers, elastic straps, buttons, button labels, collar holders, labels, corrugated cartons, zippers, hang tags, back panels , neck boards, sewing threads, price tags, photo boards, rubber bands, fabric bands, embroidery, padding, quilting and more.

According to industry insiders, the growth rate of this sector is 10% and after satisfying domestic demand, they are now exporting products to various countries including China, Malaysia, South Korea and Vietnam. .

At present, more than seven lakh people are currently employed in this sector, with a total investment of around 40,000 Tk crore.

Nearly 1,300 factories are currently operational.

Abdul Kader Khan, managing director of Khan Accessories and Packaging Company Ltd, and former president of the Bangladesh Garment Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) said that in a sense the local industry meets 100% of the demand for clothes. sector.

“Most countries stopped production during the spread of Covid-19, so it was impossible to import these items from abroad, so we met all the demand locally,” he added.

He also mentioned that the quality and design of domestic products are good enough that buyers can trust them without hesitation.

“There are no cases of shipments canceled or delayed due to poor quality or shortage,” he added.

Currently, together with the clothing industry, they also supply accessories and packaging products to the pharmaceutical, leather, fruit, tableware and other industries.

He said: “Our industry is worth more than $ 6 billion, depending on the account of 18% to 20% of total clothing exports.”

“However, some government policies are needed to develop this industry and harness its potential.”

“We repeatedly call for reducing the corporate tax rate to around 10% to 12% like the RMG sector, halving the export source tax and removing income tax existing on the purchase of raw materials for export, “he said. added.

Accessory export earnings are not listed in the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, although discussions are ongoing with the central bank on this issue.

ACL Accessories Industries Ltd, which has a factory in Kashimpur area of ​​Gazipur, mainly produces metal buttons, metal zippers, nylon zippers, plastic zippers and poly bags for national and international markets.

Mr. Anwar Hossain, CEO of the company, said that 80-90% of the demand of the local clothing industry can be met locally; because there are special items that need to be imported.

He also said that the local market is currently ripe and ideal for accessories and packaging items.

“The country’s clothing industry receives a lot of purchase orders, so our market is also strong,” he added.

However, he complained that a number of foreigners easily do business in this industry which is a bit of a threat to local manufacturers.

“We have to put restrictions on them,” he suggested.

Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said about 80% to 85% of the demand is being met by the local accessories and packaging industry.

They make around 30 products, covering almost all of the items needed.

“The quality of the country’s products is also very good. With the development of the local accessories and packaging industry, our clothing sector has become self-sufficient, ”he added.

He also said that they are importing these items from Hong Kong or South Korea, but since they are now available in Bangladesh, this has reduced both costs and time.