RMG exporters hunt for new market

Kathmandu, March 28:

The Nepal readymade garment (RMG) sector is in search of new markets. With the fall in its export to the American market, Nepali RMG sector is trying to explore new markets in India. Nepali RMG, which used to have a firm grip over the American market is now in complete doldrums.

“We are suffering a double-dimension problem,” said Prashant Pokharel, president of Garment Association of Nepal (GAN) adding that while the sector was experiencing massive turndown of export of Nepali RMG to the US and that it was observing some export possibilities to India.

GAN is facing a steep turndown since the last couple of years as both the global recession and the energy crisis have been hitting this sector hard.

“Due to the power crisis, our production costs have doubled while productivity is low. Besides, the retail market in the US is shrinking by the day

due to lowered purchasing capacity of the US buyers,” Pokharel said adding that GAN needs duty-free access to markets along with an effective labour policy.

According to recent data of GAN, the total export of RMG to the US in February reduced by 55 per cent, meaning the total value of Nepali RMG exported to the US was $9,15,275 that is a decline of 65 per cent compared to the total export during the corresponding period in 2008.

This January, Nepali RMG export to US witnessed a fall of 73 per cent as against last January. The total RMG export to the US in January was $7,069,64.17, which was $2,650,747.91 in the corresponding period in 2008.

In 2008, the total value of Nepali RMG exported to the US was $13,609,071.77 — a decrease of 45 per cent in comparison to the year 2007 when the total value of Nepali RMG exported was $24,812,146.55.