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Bangladesh clothing manufactures in dire straits

Bangladesh RMG makers are facing tough times as they ask for a fair price. Further, they are in continuous pressure from international buyers to improve working conditions on shop-floor post the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013. Domestic apparel makers say more than $1 billion has been invested to renovate and retrofit their factories as per the demand of Western buyers, retailers and brands.

Despite this fact, retailers and brands have not increased their price. Purchasers are still paying the traditionally low prices for products and garnering enormous profits. A shirt costing $3 or $5 is being sold for around $25 to $30. Ditto for high-end value added products, which is 30 per cent of the total volume of garment items, exported per annum from Bangladesh. MNCs pay around $8 to $12 to local manufacturers for a piece of value added high-end shirt and retailers sell the same shirts for around $100 to $150, garment makers said.

Manufacturers and economists assess that the faulty global supply chain is the culprit. Economist Rehman Sobhan, highlighting this factor says the current business model forces suppliers to squeeze their workers as much as they can because they have to produce the shirt at $5. There needs to be investigation into this matter to resolve issues faced by manufacturers.