Bangladesh goes to bat for textile industry as buyers scrap orders

DHAKA — With the coronavirus pandemic pummeling Bangladesh’s textile industry, a two-pronged campaign is underway to salvage the country’s biggest export earner by cajoling big Western clothing retailers to honor previous purchase commitments.

The U.K.’s Edinburgh Woolen Mills Group, whose key brands include Peacocks, Jaeger, Bonmarche, and Austin Reed, has canceled orders worth more than $30 million from nearly three dozen Bangladeshi factories, despite entreaties from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, BGMEA since mid-April.

Now the trade group is playing hardball. On May 21, the association sent a letter to Philip Day, the company’s billionaire owner, threatening to

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Coronavirus latest: Pakistan to import generic remdesivir from Bangladesh

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 5,722,859, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 356,279.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Friday, May 29

8:45 p.m. A drug company in Pakistan plans to import a generic version of the antiviral remdesivir from Bangladesh, Reuters reports. The company, Searle, says it has an exclusive deal with Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharmaceuticals,

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Bangladesh teeters on edge of poverty as COVID-19 spreads

DHAKA/TOKYO — Shahidul Islam, a poor farmer in Bangladesh’s western district of Natore, called a hotline last month for a food handout. The request went down very badly when a senior local official — who also belongs to the ruling Awami League — took it as a personal smear. His response was to assault the peasant — a by no means isolated incident.

Bangladesh has not escaped the economically disruptive COVID-19 pandemic that has upended health care systems around the world and claimed over 280,000 lives. The South Asian country has had nearly 15,691 confirmed cases and 239 known deaths

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Bangladesh seeks IMF lifeline after record stimulus package

DHAKA — Bangladesh is seeking $700 million in financial backing from the International Monetary Fund after rolling out its biggest-ever stimulus package. The government hopes the move will prevent the coronavirus pandemic from ravaging its trademark macroeconomic stability.

“We are currently assessing the government’s request to the IMF for emergency financing,” Ragnar Gudmundsson, the fund’s representative in Dhaka, told the Nikkei Asian Review.

The plea coincides with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s announcement on Sunday of a $9 billion stimulus package, equal to 2.5% of gross domestic product, aimed at cushioning the economic blow from the lockdown induced by the coronavirus

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