Indian traders protest an increase in Bangladeshi exports.

Published: May 8, 2024
Author: Fashion Value Chain

Apparel exports from Bangladesh have significantly increased through Delhi airport in India, with 90,000 tons of goods being exported from January to March. This accounts for 9 percent of exports, compared to less than 2 percent previously. Indian exporters are concerned about congestion at the cargo terminal and are calling for their products to be prioritized to avoid extra costs. They have raised the issue with the Ministry of Commerce in India.

Previously, Bangladeshi garments were exported through Kolkata Airport to Europe and the USA, but in 2023, exports shifted to Delhi.

Since January, the quantity of garments being exported to Bangladesh through Delhi has increased. However, the BGMEA believes that Indian exporters are being unreasonable in their demands, considering only a small portion of Bangladesh’s exports go through India. This has led to concerns about congestion at the Delhi airport, although it is a large airport with good management. As a result, Bangladeshi companies have started using Delhi for their exports.

An export agent revealed that around 30 trucks carrying garments from Bangladesh arrive at Delhi airport every night, waiting for customs clearance. Indian exporters are proposing a landing charge on Bangladeshi products passing through Delhi airport to Western countries, potentially reducing Bangladeshi exports through India due to added duties.

Chairman Sudhir Sekhri of the Apparel Export Promotion Council mentioned that imposing landing charges on Bangladeshi products will not benefit Indian exporters, as the cost would be borne by Bangladeshi exporters. The charges would only go to the airport authority, with no direct benefit to Indian exporters. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) director, Mohiuddin Rubel, highlighted potential issues in the export process if landing charges are imposed, suggesting instead to focus on improving airport capacity.

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