£2.5bn clothing orders cancelled as Bangladesh minister calls for UK govt support

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Tipu Munshi Covid-19
Bangladesh relies on the garment industry for more than 80% of its exports
// UK retailers cancel £2.5bn in clothing orders as Covid-19 impacts fashion sector
// Arcadia, Frasers Group, Asda, Debenhams, New Look & Peacocks have cancelled contracts in recent weeks
// Bangladesh’s commerce minister Tipu Munshi called on UK Government to support the manufacturing industry

UK retailers have reportedly cancelled an estimated £2.5 billion in clothing orders from Bangladeshi suppliers, plunging the country’s manufacturing industry into a “major crisis”.

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia, Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, Walmart-owned Asda, Debenhams, New Look and Philip Day’s Peacocks have all cancelled contracts in recent weeks as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic settles in.

However, fast fashion retailer Primark has committed to paying for orders in a bid to support suppliers through the crisis.


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Last week, Primark said it would shell out £370 million for orders in addition to the £1.5 billion of stock it already has in stores, depots and in transit.

Despite this, Bangladesh’s commerce minister Tipu Munshi said this would not be enough to prevent factory closures and called on the UK government to intervene, ITV News reported.

The vast majority of Bangladesh’s factories in the capital city Dhaka have been closed since March 26.

The Bangladeshi Government has offered low-interest loans to factory owners to help them pay their staff during the crisis.

The clothing sector has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, with exports dropping by 84 per cent in the first half of April as £2.3 billion worth of orders were cancelled or suspended, according to factory owners.

Bangladesh relies on the garment industry for more than 80 per cent of its exports, with some 4000 factories employing about four million people.

Asda said it had only cancelled five per cent of orders from Bangladeshi suppliers, but was only paying 60 per cent of the previously agreed price.

Meanwhile New Look, which cancelled 20 per cent of orders from Bangladesh shortly after closing its UK store estate, has now reinstated some of the £6.8 million of business it initially withheld.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Bangladesh government should stop corruption from the country. The country is full of corruption from bottom level to top level. They never give aid relief to poor people. Now they asking UK government for. They should be a shamed of them self

  2. This country needs to stop giving money to other countries, haven’t we got enough people in our country who has lost their jobs and businesses going bust. We need the money here.

  3. Before overseas suppliers are paid, the poor landlords should be paid. They have been singled out and not offered any support at all. They need rent to stay solvent.

  4. If you place a order you should pay for it . It’s only fair ?Asda should be ashamed only willing to pay 60% of wot they agreed there paying next to nothing for the slave labourers

    • Totally agree with you on that.I also think our goverment shouldn’t intervene in this matter and should leave it up to the retailers to sort out their finance with bangladesh.if the goverment does help then I can honestly say the corrupt bangladeshi goverment will pocket most of the money.

      • Selffish ppl we should all help each other, in times of need! What happens when we need help and other countries say well the UK never helped anyone so why should we help them. Saying that I don’t think it should be the government who pays, they should make the UK retailers honour their deals.

  5. It’s not our government’s problem and when many people are living on little money many won’t be pleased if this government supports them. Charity begins at home not in Bangladesh.
    Not interested. Our own country is in grave crisis with the worst COVID figures in Europe and second only to the USA.

  6. We will all pay, tax through the roof for at least a decade, services. Slashed, it’s s tory thing anyway and now they have a pandemic to cover their arses, new duck House for. Boris on order

  7. Sort yourselves out. £2,5 bn is nothing in the scheme of things but the British Taxpayer won’t be coughing up for your losses. I’m pretty sure the corrupt Bangladeshi government wouldn’t pass it on to their underpaid workers anyway

  8. Andi rediculous! It’s not even our country. Why our tax payers money should go there or any other countries? This foreign aid should stop long time ago. Especially now when UK need money so we don’t go into recession. Not all orders were produced in Bangladesh anyway so they won’t loose money on the material. Each country should care for these financially now. Africa will be next who want money for free with corrupted Nigeria leading the call for money. I would like to know if UK government still giving money to other countries. Our money people who work.

  9. That’s right. Let’s all think of ourselves at this time of worldwide crisis. ‘Cos you’ll all survive alone right?
    Wouldn’t it be mind altering if individual countries all decided to stop supporting the UK with the vast quantities of necessary imports we receive each year… Just take a moment.

    You are talking about items that you might not see as necessities today, but you’ll complain at xmas/when this is all over and the supply you all demand no longer exists because the factories worldwide have been forced to liquidate.

    • I agree with you a contract is a contract. The UK pay peanuts for the garments produced there & then sell them to us for top dollar, making massive profits. The UK & other countries have been raping Africa & India & others for their resources & labour for decades. They should give a helping hand because they know what they previously did & currently do now!!

  10. Agree help us first !! I am still waiting for my 80% of wages as are many others stop sending aid out to other countries and get our own house in order

  11. Just like everyone else who is under lockdown, if I’d donated to every charity not based in England, I would have spent £110 on donkeys to people living on the streets in India. We are the smallest county who seem to support everyone else. When are we going to stop supporting others and look out for number one.

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