The Dhaka- Chittagong highway has turned into a mostly violated and risky route due to hartals and continuing demonstration which covers the country’s 80 per cent export and import.
The business leaders of different organisations once again urged to the political leaders to keep free from all kind violence on Dhaka-Chittagong highway to sake supply chain undisturbed of the country.
Bangladesh earned $28 billion from exporting the apparels sector, where the fate of almost 4.5 million garment workers is dependent on it, but the country’s highest women employed sector is now fallen in trouble due to prolonging political uncertainty here, business insider said.
“The Dhaka-Chittagong Highway is an important route, as over 80 percent of the trucks loaded with export and import consignments use it. So, it is very urgent to keep the highway free from hartal,” said Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
Talking with bdreports24.com, the apex body president said, if the said highway remains under siege even for a day, it is ominous for the garment sector in particular, the country’s highest export earner.
“Not only RMG trading is affected, all the businesses suffer as the trucks and covered vans cannot ply on roads and highways on hartal days,” said the FBCCI president.
“A huge quantity of consignments is exported in December, a bumper month for retailers in the western world due to Christmas,” said Atiqul Islam, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
“The truck drivers refuse to go to Chittagong on the hartals days for security reason. Even if any truck driver takes risk, the hartals supporters may attack the driver and burn the truck as well as goods. In the past, we faced such adverse situation and still are bearing the loss,” said the apex trade body president, adding that alternatively we withheld the shipment on hartal days.
Repetition of suspension of shipment by sea on due dates may lead to cancellation of orders, monetary penalty, or expensive air shipments, he said.
It costs only 30 cents to send one kilogram of goods by sea, but in the case of shipment by air, the cost goes up to $4.15 a kg. One major air shipment is enough to paralyse a garment exporter,” said Atiqul Islam.
Meanwhile, the BGMEA leader said, if garment owners fail to maintain time schedule, it might create a bad impact on the international retailers’ confidence.
India and Vietnam have already emerged as the key competitors of Bangladesh in international garment trade, he said. “This is already a cause for concern for garment exporters. The continuous shutdown will only aggravate the crisis.”
Furthermore, India has planned to increase its garment exports amounting to $30 billion over the next three years by offering various trade facilities. “The persistent political unrest in Bangladesh will be another advantage for Indian garment business,” the BGMEA president added.