Special Correspondent ;
Dhaka – Bangladeshi envoys stationed in European nations have been asked to explore new markets for Bangladeshi apparel products beside retaining the existing one which is hard hit by the global pandemic of novel coronavirus.
Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen gave these directives at a virtual meeting with the envoys on Tuesday. Europe is now the largest market for Bangladesh’s garments products.
Bangladesh, the second largest apparel producers after China, adds nearly 30 billion dollars from garments export a year. But the global shutdown over Covid-19 pandemic forced many retailers to either suspend or cancel purchase orders.
The Foreign Minister urged the envoys to play their part to sustain the existing export earnings and look for new areas where the products can destine for.
He also urged them to look for areas in Europe where more Bangladeshi workers can be engaged.
Momen directed the diplomats to share Bangladesh’s initiatives, including a stimulus package, to overcome the COVID-19 situation with the respective government and expatriates Bangladeshis.
He also warned against negative campaigns against Bangladesh in the external world.
Bangladesh envoys from the UK, Italy, France, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria joined the virtual briefing, a foreign ministry release said.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Rubana Huq also joined the meeting.
Momen said Bangladesh has been able to keep the wheel of its economy moving apart from ensuring treatment for COVID-19 patients due to the farsighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He said a US$ 12.11-billion stimulus package has been announced to overcome the temporary pressure on the national economy amid the virus outbreak.
BGMEA President Rubana Huq said the RMG factories are in production following the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Bangladesh exported 65 lakh pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the US market, she added.