Pak textile millers look for moving to Bangladesh. UNB, Dhaka
Amid growing energy crisis in Pakistan, many textile manufacturers in its textile hub Faisalabad are planningto relocate their manufacturing units in Bangladesh.
Though the power crisis is also there in Bangladesh, business leaders in Dhaka welcomed the move, but said no-one would be allowed to set up readymade garment units in the name of textile factory relocation.
"If any country wants to relocate their manufacturing units in Bangladesh, they're welcome. But we won't accept it if any country tries to run RMG unit in the name of textile unit," president of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) Abus Salam Murshedy told UNB ove phone.
He said the country's RMG sectoris now in a stronger position and around 25 percent capacity remains idle due to shortage of skilled manpower and infrastructure.
"Many countries, even India, are willing to come here. They can be here in service sectors," Murshedy,also the former BGMEA president, told UNB correspondent AKM Moinuddin.
BGMEA first vice-president Nasir Uddin Chowdhury said they do not have any objection if any country wants to come to Bangladesh in the textile sector. "But if they come for setting up RMG units, it'll be a trouble for us."
Replying to a question, he said relocation of manufacturing units is a lengthy process and it will take atleast one and half years.
"Our electricity crisis seems to be over. The government forecast on electricity generation indicates that," Chowdhury, also the managing director of Eastern Apparels Ltd,said.
According to a report of The Express Tribune, Pakistan published on August 18, Bangladesh has been offering a lot of incentives, including uninterrupted power supply (at cheaper rates than in Pakistan), tax-free status for the first 10 years and tariff-free access to markets in the European Union.
These incentives on off er have convinced many Pakistani businessmen to invest heavily in Bangladesh.
Owner of Tauseef Enterprises Salamat Ali, for instance, has already invested Rs300 million in setting up a textile factory in Bangladesh. Others like K&M Textile, are considering doing so, the report says.
"The cost of doing businessin Pakistan is very high," said Rana Ghulam Irtiza, coordination manager at Tauseef Enterprises.
In addition to cheaper and more reliable electricity, Irtiza says, labour costs in Bangladesh are cheaper and the workers tend to be more efficient. The per capita income in Bangladesh is about half that of Pakistan's $1,250.
Profit margins in Bangladesh tendto be around 30 percent higher for textile exporters than in Pakistan, according to Irtiza.
Some firms that have requirements for more well-qualified labour have even thought of moving as far afield as the United States, where labour costs may be higher but it is easier to find skilled workers.
Javed Ahmed, a manager at K&MTextile, a composite manufacturer, said his company was considering such a move.
He added that international buyers are increasingly reluctant to place orders with firms located in Pakistan because they fear that the electricity shortage will result in delays, an unacceptable business risk for many retailers that rely on a 'just-in-time' businessmodel.
Another huge attraction in Bangladesh is the lack of tariffsin major markets such in the United States and the European Union. Categorisedas a 'least developed country', Bangladesh has been given special tariff-freeaccess to the markets in developed countries as an indirect form of aid.
Mian Farrukh, the owner of Cosy International, a composite textile manufacturer, said the tariff-free access was the single biggest factor in his decision to set up business in Bangladesh.
Farrukh said electricity is around 35 percent cheaper in Bangladesh and this is also an added incentive fo his company to move.
Bangladesh's textile industry has made such an impact on the global map that international buying houses have setup their offices there, forcing many Pakistani manufacturers to travel to Dhaka to get orders for goods destined for markets around the world.
It is not known precisely how many industrialists have moved their factories to Bangladesh and how many have simply opened up additional manufacturing units there.
Yet the trend is clearly worrying for many observers, who fear a mass exodus of Pakistan's textile manufacturing base, which in turn would be devastating for the millions of people currently employed by the sector.
"The government of Pakistan needs to formulate a comprehensive policy to salvage the textile industry," said Mushtaq Ali Cheema, who was the textile minister during the Musharraf administration, and is the owner of MSC Textiles.
"Exporters and manufacturers are really disappointed with the way the government has handled their industry," added Cheema.
"Instead of thinking about creating new provinces, the government should focus on enhancing the country's competitiveness. Otherwise, our industry will run away to Bangladesh,"Cheema said.
Viele Wörter waren aus irgend welchen Gründen zusammengerück. Ich habe diese wieder getrennt.
Ausschnitt aus der Bangladeschischen Zeitung.