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8th June 2010

Bangladesh knitwear: the game is just starting

Fazlul Hoque, BKMEA8 June 2010, Hong Kong - Fazlul Hoque, President of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BKMEA) has said in an exclusive interview with Just-Style that the country faces labour, cost and infrastructure challenges as it matures into a key global garment exporter. In the ‘Speaking With Style’ interview, which was given at Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong, Hoque tells the online apparel industry resource that in fact "the game is just starting."

According to the interview Hoque pulls no punches when it comes to buyers saying that his members get no support and are always being squeezed by the buyers. Hoque says that brands need to share responsibility for factory workers who need money ‘first and foremost’ for food and shelter.

In Hoque’s opinion, brands should be increasing the prices they pay for garments each year whilst ensuring the increase is passed on to workers in wages.

The interview says that according to BKMEA figures, Bangladesh's knitwear exports have slowed by 3.35% over the eight months to March 2010, after growing around 15% in each of the past few years. Although the downturn has slowed progress, knitwear still accounts for 77% of the country's exports.

Hoque goes on to tell Just-Style that factors other than the economic crisis are also affecting the industry such as gas and electricity shortages and says that ‘without power it is a redundant industry’.

The interview goes on to cover Hoque’s views on emerging consumer markets for Bangladesh’s producers, the power struggle, low cost labour, labour practices and the role the brands should play.

Read the full interview on Just-Style.com

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