Bangladesh’s ready-made garment makers are planning to start negotiations with international buyers on enhancement of prices of apparel products. They feel the rise will help the industry implement the proposed new wage structure for workers at factories. Buyers have apparently expressed their willingness to raise apparel product prices by 5 per cent from the existing level, following a 77 per cent pay hike proposed by the wage board.
Buyers’ representatives will be invited to Dhaka this month to discuss ongoing issues. Big factories are able to ensure the enhanced wages, but it will be difficult for small and medium-category units, which mainly depend on buying houses or sub-contracts. Unless buyers or retailers increase the prices of apparel products in line with the wage hike, it would be difficult for many garment factories to properly implement the enhanced wages.
The problem is buyers are very eager about safety measures, including those involving fire and building structures, and also on increasing wages, but their response with regard to raising apparel products’ prices is very slow.
Despite political turmoil, industrial accidents, buyers are placing orders in Bangladesh only because of the competitive rate and quality products. But they have options other than Bangladesh like India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.