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DHAKA – In an exclusive interview with Apparel Insider, Siddiqur Rahman, president of Bangladesh’s most powerful business body, accepts the country’s garment manufacturers are “price takers” and that there is a continued “race to the bottom” in terms of apparel cost. Rahman heads up the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

In interview with Apparel Insider, he said: “Given the nature of the industry, volume of production and type of the products we manufacture, we are still price taker. So in this buyers’ dominated market where we have less innovation, our capacity is mostly in volume-driven, it’s the buyers who set the price.

“If you look at the price trend of the retail market over the last 20-30 years, you will see price is declining every year. Here the pressure is passed on to the manufacturers. Now is the era of fast fashion, super market, hyper market where competition is very stiff. Price is being decreased to attract consumers.

“So there is a race to the bottom in terms of product price. It’s a buyers’ market where we have follow the terms buyers are setting and buyers are setting price depending on the trends and nature of the market. Revolution has taken place over the last few decades in the international fashion market in terms of retail chain supply management and distribution, where everybody is competing on how to offer higher value products at cheaper price. So in this nature of market where buyers are setting the prices and terms, we are simply the price taker.”

You can read the full, extensive interview in the next printed magazine edition of Apparel Insider. For subscription options, please click here.

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