PM urges buyers to help owners to overhaul garment factories

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Dhaka, February 25: Putting emphasis on adopting short, medium and long-term plans for boosting demands for Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) products in the world market, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday called upon brands and buyers to help garment industry owners overhauling their factories.

“A huge fund is required for the factories being overhauled. So, various brands and buyers can come forward to assist Bangladeshi factory owners. The government will continue to provide its support in this regard,” the premier said this while inaugurating Dhaka Apparel Summit 2017 at Hotel Sonargaon in Dhaka in the morning.

She said, “We have to work on how to increase our share in the world market. We have to formulate short, medium and long-term plans in this regard.”

Highlighting her government’s various steps for the development of the RMG sector, Sheikh Hasina said a number of measures have been taken up at the international level to make the RMG sector safe.

Sheikh Hasina added: “Under the initiative, 3,869 factories have been inspected. Among those,faults have been found in only with 39 factories and they were closed down.The remaining factories are being renovated to improve their safety.”

The premier also laid stress on diversifying products and expanding markets to boost export earnings.

“Alongside, we have to learn how to add value to our products. Our export-list is not long rather it is heavily RMG-dependant. Again, our export is also limited to a few countries of North America and West Europe,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said there are many opportunities to increase our export basket and also to expand our export market. “I would like to draw the attention of our exporters in this regard. The government will extend all out support to boost export earnings,” she said.

As a sequel to the success of first Dhaka Apparel Summit (DAS) taken place in 2014, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is organising the daylong second edition of DAS with the theme “Together for a better tomorrow”.

The main aim of the summit is to explore priority areas for turning Bangladeshi readymade garments into a sustainable sector.

The summit will feature discussions on how to establish a more sustainable apparel supply chain as well as also focus to set the next course of action plan on achieving US$ 50billion export goal by 2021.

Describing the RMG as the main driving wheel of economic development of the country, the premier said nearly 80 percent of our export income comes from the sector.

“It employs more than 4 million workers of whom 80 percent are women. Indirectly, nearly 40 million people are dependent on this sector,” she said.

The premier said after the Rana Plaza accident, building a risk-free and compliant RMG sector had become a great challenge for the government. “We have overcome the challenge with the help of all,” she said.

In this connection, she said the BGMEA, government, domestic and international organizations and development partners — all together are working towards building a safe and sustainable RMG sector.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed,Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu and European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon spoke at the function as the special guests.

BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman delivered the welcome address, while BGMEA First Vice President Mainuddin Ahmed gave the vote of thanks.

Source: Agencies