Tesco wants to source non-RMG products from Bangladesh
Published : Monday, 14 January 2013
The world's third largest chain shop retailer -- Tesco -- has officially shown its keen interest to source a number of non-RMG (readymade garment) products from Bangladesh.
The UK-based retail giant, in a letter to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) in November last, expressed its interest to source nearly one hundred items of seven categories.
The categories include consumer electrical products, stationery, party and seasonal, toys and nursery, home appliances, hardware and gardening and sporting goods.
Tesco sources only RMG items from Bangladesh.
Local businesses termed the latest intention of the retail giant a welcome blessing for the investment-starved country.
They believe that the arrival of such a mainstream buyer will surely reshape the country's future. It has raised hope for a new wave of business despite ongoing global financial meltdown that has already affected many economies, they said.
Immediate past president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), A K Azad said the offer came at a time when the country is struggling hard to diversify its export products.
"The arrival of Tesco will further strengthen the country's economy. If we can capitalise on this opportunity, I hope other supply chain stores would also come forward afterwards," Azad said.
"As a global retailer, export to Tesco means that the suppliers have the opportunity to export their products to their global network of 6,200 stores in 13 markets," he added.
Chief Executive of PRAN-RFL Group Amjad Khan Chowdhury said supply to Tesco would help the local manufacturers to convince other big sourcing entities of the globe easily.
"We should not treat the offer as a single opportunity but take it as a gateway of export for goods other than RMG," Chowdhury, also the former president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), added.
Riaz Ahmed, Project Director of T K Paper Mill, the second largest paper mill of the country, said that the local paper mills produce world-class paper and have the capability to fulfil the demand of such chain shops.
"Local mills produce world-class paper. So if we get scope, then it might become a boon for the sector," Ahmed added.
The key market players, however, said in order to increase export of non-RMG items, the country has to ensure adequate supply of gas and power, make available industrial lands, combat corruption, improve infrastructure and port efficiency, ease traffic congestion and develop skilled manpower.
However, EPB Vice-Chairman Shubhashish Bose said that they are working on the issue and are hopeful of arranging a meeting among local producers and the UK-based retail giant.
"We would like to explore the idea of jointly hosting an event to meet with a final selection of those suppliers that meet the importers' criteria, in order to prove capacity of local exporters to work with Tesco," Bose added.
According to Mr Bose, Tesco in the same way started sourcing RMGs from Bangladesh a couple of years ago.
Tesco is the world's third-largest retailer of grocery and general merchandise, headquartered in the UK. The retail giant has over 6,200 stores in 13 countries across Asia, Europe and the USA and is a market leader in the UK, Malaysia, Thailand and the Republic of Ireland.