The BGMEA and the BKMEA are having opposing views over 'competitiveness' issue of the textile industry and its sustainability in the global market following the WTO draft deal, reports BDNEWS.
"Knitwear is doing good in Europe because of the generalised system of preferences (GSP) facility and in USA for imposing quota on Chinese products", said former Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Annisul Huq.
While the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) President Fazlul Haque said the knitwear industry would be able to sustain in the global market despite not getting duty-free and quota-free market access in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement.
The final revision of the Hong Kong draft declaration of the sixth WTO Conference was adopted by large trading powers, including the United States (US), European Union (EU), Brazil and India at the last moment.
The agreed draft deal excluded duty-free and quota-free market access of textile products that earn Bangladesh's 76 per cent foreign currency.
Meanwhile, main opposition Awami League, trade experts and BGMEA have predicted that the country's textiles industry would face a disaster because of failure to get duty-free and quota-free market access of the item in the US market.
Annisul Huq said knitwear would not be able to compete in the global market if the GSP facility provided by the EU is withdrawn.
"Knitwear exports have also increased in the US market following US embargo on Chinese products", he said.
"It means we are not so competitive to sustain the world market", he told the news agency.
BKMEA President, the second largest foreign currency earner of the country, differed with the former BGMEA president saying the knitwear industry would be able to do business competing with the global players.
He said Bangladeshi knitwear did a good business in the US market before imposing quota system on Chinese products. "We earned an export increase of 22 per cent in USA during January to July, before imposing embargo on China", he noted.
He termed the expectation of getting duty-free and quota-free market access of Bangladesh textile in the US market a 'dream' of some businessmen.
Fazlul Haque said vested quarters would try to blackmail the government in the name of facing disaster following exclusion of textiles from the duty-free market access.
Annisul Huq said the industry needs incentives from the government and better technology and above all improved infrastructure to increase sustainability.