The COVID-19 pandemic is triggering an unmatched disturbance to the global economy. The subsequent socio-economic impact is being spread through different channels.
And Bangladesh’s stance in a vulnerable position to tackle the economic impact of COVID-19, as its textile and apparel industry provides over 80% of its export.
This ultimately push Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) industry to shift from its current model of mostly producing basic items to high-end functional apparel. Like personal protective equipment (PPE), masks and healthcare-related items such as bedsheets and isolation sheets for hospitals. Or military and other protective gear.
At the same time, diversifying the RMG market to balance any future market meltdown.
One thing is certain, that the global consumers will not move back quickly to a previous spending spree. Meaning the basic item market will shrink as the predictions by global experts.
Under present situations, the best Bangladesh can do is lessen the impact, that is, contain the loss of existing exports and take advantage of demand created by the virus for products like masks, PPEs, ventilators, various pharmaceutical products and digital services.
Industry experts strongly urge the govt. to remove the export barriers like port and customs delay. As well as improving road transport and waterways for a flawless communication.
Besides the specialized economic zones should be ready at the earliest to cater the need of local and foreign investments.
Also, it is high time to develop other high-end manufacturing like China and Vietnam to become a global manufacturing hub with its abundant human resources.