A more equal relationship must be established amongst manufacturers and buyers
It is encouraging to note that, despite the controversies surrounding cancelled orders and the economic slump post-Covid, RMG work orders are slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Undoubtedly, our export-based industries, none more so than RMG, were severely hit in the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, and with so many people economically dependent on its success, now is as good as a time as any for the wheels of the industry to start turning once more.
Thanks to a steady inflow of work orders on par with pre-pandemic levels, it has led local garments manufacturers to remain hopeful with regards to full recovery by the end of this year.
However, some caveats remain -- the most important of which is the imbalanced nature of the relationship between our local manufacturers and global corporations, which showed little to no concern for the consequences of the cancellation of orders. This no doubt needs to change.
In addition, and perhaps as a consequence of the same attitude from these massive companies, they have continued to offer lower than usual prices for products, no doubt taking advantage of a situation whereby manufacturers have little choice but to say yes in order to have any chance of a recovery.
A more equal relationship must be established amongst manufacturers and buyers. We all demand safer working conditions, but it is imperative that these large labels put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.
Regardless, it is good to see that Bangladesh’s largest industry is getting back up on its feet, but it should also serve as a reminder for the authorities to incentivize other industries and allow our export basket to diversify in order to create an economy that can grow sustainably.