Ibrahim Hossain Ovi
Even and fair distribution of work orders by the global apparel brands and buyers will help developing countries adversely affected by the pandemic to recover from the economic fallout, a study jointly conducted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Southern Voice found.
The study titled “Recovery of the Apparels Sectors of Bangladesh from the COVID-19 Crisis. Is a Value Chain-based Solution Possible?” revealed the finding during a virtual dialogue held on Tuesday.
As per the research findings, the global market share of Chinese woven products rose to 45 per cent in the post-pandemic period in China, which was 39 per cent before the outbreak of Covid-19.
Also, Turkey’s share rose to 4 per cent from 3 per cent and Sri Lanka's share remained unchanged.
However, Bangladesh’s market share in woven products declined by 1 per cent, from 7 per cent to 6 per cent, even before the pandemic took hold in the country.
In the case of knitwear products market share, Bangladesh lost 2 per cent due to the pandemic, while China's market share for the same product increased by 5 per cent and Vietnam's rose by 1 per cent.
“If buyers and brands maintained their market share of export orders with the largest supplier - China - during the Covid-19 pandemic period, an additional $2 billion worth of orders could have been distributed to other traditional supplying countries,” said Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of CPD, said in his keynote presentation.
Analysis showed that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka together have the capacity to supply the volume of products that are supplied by China, he added.
Buyers based in Europe, the US and other major sourcing countries could undertake a joint commitment to ensure a gradual return to pre-Covid market shares of import orders to traditional supplying countries, the study suggested.
Product-wise analysis of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka indicated that such distribution is feasible even within the product basket of these supplying countries, the study finding showed.
Stressing on responsible buying practices to ensure workers' well-being, Moazzem said governments of sourcing countries, as well as brands and buyers, could extend their long-term support in developing the social insurance schemes targeting workers of the apparels sector.