Three lessons in Corona

We are going through a very challenging year. The year was difficult for all countries. Of course, I personally think that the overall economy of the country including the garment industry of Bangladesh has done better than other countries. Hopefully next year we can turn around more.

The first lesson of the Corona period is that the supply chain of our garment industry is still fragile. When raw materials stopped coming from China at the beginning of the pandemic, we realized the issue. Corona explained to us that small tools like buttons and zippers are a big part of the supply chain. Because, we were able to export garments for small equipment. But these can be made in the country. We are lagging behind just because we have not taken the initiative. In order to overcome the losses incurred in 2020, next year we have to focus on innovation and development of new products.

The 2nd lesson is that the export of Oven Clothing decreases during the Corona period. Knit clothing did relatively well. For a long time there was talk of product diversification but it did not go ahead at all. Due to the lockdown, sales of the products we produce more have declined. In the last 10 years, the type of clothing in the western countries has changed drastically. However, we could not keep pace. Although the demand for garments made of man-made fibers or synthetic fibers has increased, we are still in cotton garments.

The third lesson is that we don’t just have to do clothing business. We must go into diversified business. Because, in difficult times like pandemics, people don’t just buy something out of daily necessities.

To make the supply system sustainable, we have to go for local production of cloth and equipment. We need to increase investment there. And to make the condition of paying the price of the garment more secure, we have to work with all the concerned parties including Bangladesh Bank, commercial bank & buyer.

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