Primary textile sector

Gas supply crunch keeps new ventures at bay: BTMA

Four-day DTG-2023 kicks off on Feb 15

| Updated: February 13, 2023 17:34:58

Gas supply crunch keeps new ventures at bay: BTMA

The country's primary textile sector that witnessed billions of dollars in investment in last two consecutive years is now staring at uncertainty in the case of new ventures mainly because of the scarcity of gas, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) President Mohammad Ali Khokon said on Sunday.

Investments to the tune of US$6.06 billion and US$4.14 billion were made in the sector in 2021 and 2022 respectively despite the fallouts from Covid-19.

BTMA member mills meet 80 per cent of the knitwear exporters' demand for fabrics, he said. They also meet 60 per cent of the woven and denim exporters' demand. Local use of manmade fibre (MMF)-based diversified textile products like yarn and fabrics is insufficient against the huge global demand for apparels made of MMF.

"In the present situation, the backward linkage industry has the potentials of attracting Tk 1.0 trillion in investments. But we are in doubt about fresh investment unless uninterrupted gas and energy supply is ensured," Mr Khokon said.

The BTMA president was speaking at a press conference on the 17th edition of Dhaka International Textile and Garments Machinery Exhibition (DTG-2023) that is going to take place after a pause of three years mainly due to Covid-19.

The four-day DTG-2023 will kick off on February 15 at the International Convention City Bashundhara in the city. BTMA and Yorkers Trade and Marketing Service Co Ltd are jointly organising it.

Bangladesh fetched US$42.61 billion from readymade garment exports in the last fiscal year. The figure includes US$23.21 billion and US$19.39 billion from export of knitwear and woven garments respectively.

Speaking at the conference, the BTMA president, however, said they had no information about the improvement in gas supply situation. The investments might have been much higher in the last two years, if uninterrupted and sufficient energy supply and infrastructure were there.

Thanking the government for its decision to import LNG from the spot market to ease the energy crisis, he urged measures to implement the decision immediately.

"Otherwise, the state of the mills would deteriorate further," he noted.

He urged the government to implement the new enhanced rate of gas from April.

His other points of demand included a halt to export of textile and garment waste that is used in the local recycling factories.

Responding to a question, Mr Khokon said the textile mills needed to run 24 hours and seven days a week without any break to keep the factories running as they produce basic items of fabrics and yarn.

The business-to-business exhibition will offer an opportunity for the local textile and apparel manufacturers to meet with the global suppliers of latest machinery under one umbrella.

The exhibition will remain open to all from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm everyday until February 18.

The DTG has been the biggest trade show for exhibiting state-of-the-art technology used in textile and garment machinery for almost two decades, organisers say in a statement.

A total of 1,200 companies from 35 countries will take part in the show at 1,600 booths to offer complete solutions to garment and textile machinery in the country.

BTMA vice president Fazlul Hoque, director Nurul Islam and Yorkers Trade and Marketing Service president Judy Wang, among others, were present at the conference.

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