Tofail bullish about RMG prospects
Monday 07 December, 2015 12:00:00 am
Dhaka, Dec 7 (UNB) – Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said the agreement with Accord and Alliance – the group of European and North American buyers respectively with supply chains in Bangladesh - to inspect readymade garment factories will not be extended beyond July 2018.
The Minister made the remark at the inauguration programme of the third ‘International Trade Expo on Fire and Building Safety-2015’ arranged at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital.
He said the scenario in the RMG factories in Bangladesh had changed radically, and most of the factories are currently compliant.
Mentioning that the workers are working in safe and work-friendly environments, the Commerce Minister said fire and building safety in the factories has improved, while workers are also satisfied.
He said many countries have formed a wrong impression about Bangladesh after the unexpected accidents in Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza, but the country has since gotten through the image crisis thanks to the combined efforts of the government and private sector.
Expressing that Bangladesh is moving ahead in the global export trade.
“The United States had provided the GSP facility on a few items for Bangladesh before it was removed some time ago,” said Tofail. “Export to the US has not reduced for that reason, rather it has increased at a growth of 2.96 percent.”
He also said Bangladesh has signed Ticfa with US, but Ticfa is valueless if the stay order on Generalised System of Preference (GSP) facility continues.
The three-day Fire and Building Safety expo has been organised with a view to improve fire and building safety at RMG factories in the country.
More than 36 organisations including the Fire Service and Civil Defence, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, 13 international vendors and three service providers are taking part in the expo.
BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman, Fire Service and Civil Defence director general Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, Elevate chief executive officer Ian Spaulding and Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety managing director Mesbah Rabin also spoke at the programme.