A garment-industry executive in Bangladesh says the global economic downturn has cost 50,000 garment workers their jobs, and he wants the government to provide financial support for the industry.
The president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Abdus Salam Murshedy, says factory owners also need more than $425 million from the government to pay salaries and bonuses due this month. Otherwise, he says, further layoffs may be necessary.
Garment manufacturing is the largest and most important sector of Bangladesh's economy. The $12 billion-a-year industry account for more than three-quarters of the nation's exports and foreign-exchange earnings.
Murshedy told reporters in Dhaka Thursday there have been major job losses due to 107 factory closures in recent months, even though trade statistics show the industry's overall performance improved during the last (2008-09) fiscal year.