Also present on the occasion were BGMEA vice presidents Shahidullah Azim and Khandakar Rafiqul Islam, director Faisal Samad, founder and CEO of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) Mustafiz Uddin and others.

The BGMEA president said, "We have been noting a fall in purchase orders over the past two months. Due to inflation and an overall recession in our major export markets, the US and the European Union, there has been a 20 to 30 per cent fall in purchase orders for the next season. That means there may be a negative growth in garment exports over the next few months. In the first two months of the current 2022-23 fiscal, there has been a 26 per cent growth in garment exports. We will be happy if we can keep up a 15 per cent growth."

Concerning the gas and electricity crisis, Faruque Hassan said this has increased expenditure in the garment sector in two ways. Due to the insufficient supply of electricity, the factories are having to use diesel-run generators to keep up production. This has pushed up export costs.

The BGMEA president demanded uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity. He also called for a .50 per cent tax at source as in last fiscal instead of the present 1 per cent.

BGMEA and Bangladesh Apparel Exchange are arranging the seven-day 'Made in Bangladesh Week' to showcase to the international community the achievements of Bangladesh's readymade garment industry over the last four decades.

This will be the first such event in the readymade garment sector. It was said at the press briefing that alongside branding the readymade garment industry, this seven-day event will also convey the message to the rest of the world about how Bangladesh is turning around after the Covid pandemic and are striving to ensure the sustainability of the industry.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the event on 12 November at the Bangabandhu International Conventional Centre. The event will include the 37th IF Word Fashion Convention, a three-day apparel summit, Bangladesh Apparel Exposition, a two-day Bangladesh Denim Expo, fashion shows and more.

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