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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

How long shall we kill our profits?

Update : 21 Apr 2013, 03:40 AM

Few countries are more adept than ours at shooting themselves in the foot. Ever since party political attrition spilled out onto the streets in the form of general strikes, violent clashes and repressive police action, our economic gains, along with their attendant social benefits, have begun to evaporate.

Just four years ago, Bangladesh managed to beat out India and secure the second largest chunk of a multi-billion dollar industry that, incidentally, provides the lion’s share of our export earnings.

Our cost-advantage is hard to match and international buyers were rushing to our factories providing our people, especially our women, with much-needed employment and the financial opportunity to flourish.

Now the same buyers are reluctant to source from Bangladesh, garments producers are experiencing record losses, shipments are delayed, goods trucks set upon, and ports and roads are frequently closed. No sooner had our economy begun to look up did we manage to successfully become a difficult place to do business.

Trips by potential buyers have been cancelled, and lucrative customers like Tesco have said they are thinking twice about considering Bangladesh as an option in the future. Meeting deadlines has meant that air freight cuts into producers’ margins.

At this rate, the government’s projection of $28bn from the export sector for the current fiscal year is beginning to look like hubris, bordering on the delusional.

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