September 10: Garment traders are importing readymade garments worth Rs 1.5 billion for the festive season. Targeting the upcoming festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath, traders have started importing large quantities of garments in bulk.
Traders import readymade garments from countries like India, China, Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia. Dil Sundar Shrestha, chairperson of the Trade Fair Committee under Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) told New Business Age that they are importing goods like footwear, shirts, pants, t-shirts, half pants, jackets, saris, kurthas and others worth Rs 1.5 billion for the upcoming festivals.
According to him, the trade of such items increases by 40 percent during big festivals like Dashain and Tihar as compared to other times, so traders import large quantities of goods.
He said that even though the importers could not visit the respective countries to import goods due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are ordering goods via online medium. In addition, he said that due to the impact of the pandemic, consumers will have to buy clothes at higher prices this year as the price of the goods have increased.
The traders say that the price has gone up as the transportation cost and the price of raw materials for making clothes have has increased in the international market.
Earlier, the fare for a container imported from Kolkata was $2,000, but now it has increased to as much as $4,000 per container. The import of clothes has been reduced by 50 percent this year due to the low prospects of trade.
Under normal circumstances, traders would import ready-made garments worth up to Rs 3 billion targeting the festivals. However, they have estimated that the volume of trade will be reduced this year due to the decline in purchasing power of the consumers. Compared to the normal situation, the traders estimate that the garment business will be only 60 percent during the festive season this year.