Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Wazir Advisors have signed an agreement for conducting a study to identify potential of non-cotton textile and apparel for Bangladesh in the global apparel market. Another objective of the study titled “Fibre Diversification Study of Non-Cotton Textile and Apparel for Bangladesh in the Global Apparel Market” is to formulate a strategy to develop the country’s overall competitiveness and strength in the area. Also read:BGMEA launches ‘Cash Incentive Automation System’ BGMEA President Faruque Hassan and Business Director of Wazir Advisors Varun Vaid inked the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations at a signing ceremony held virtually on Sunday. The objective of the study is to identify potential scope of non-cotton textile and apparel for Bangladesh in the global apparel market and formulate a strategy to develop the country’s overall competitiveness and strength in the area. It will also identify key challenges for Bangladesh to capture a significant pie of the non-cotton apparel market. The study will analyze non-cotton product categories in terms of complexities, resources and trade volumes while economic, demand and sustainability rationale of non-cotton apparels will be looked upon. Competitiveness in terms of products, technologies, skill, cost and availability of other resources will be assessed in the study which will also identify challenges that limit Bangladesh’s potential to supply non-cotton products. It will develop a roadmap for manufacturers, investors, policymakers, development partners and other influencers, detailing approaches and ways to establish a strong presence in the non-cotton textile and apparel market. BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said cotton has so far driven the country’s growth in the apparel sector. But the growth of cotton-based products seems to have reached its peak, and there is little scope for growth through the natural fiber because the global fashion trend has drastically shifted from cotton to man-made fibres, he said. “It is now time for us to tap into this segment, where I believe this study will play a crucial role,” said the BGMEA chief. Business Director of Wazir Advisors Varun Vaid said global textile demand is rapidly moving towards manmade fibres. With better functionality, price competitiveness and popularity of categories like sportswear and athleisure; manmade fibres are on a high growth path, he said. Also read: OECD delegation calls on BGMEA president “The global trade is also at a cusp of restructuring with China vacating trade shares. Bangladesh can leverage its manufacturing competitiveness and buyer relationship to capitalize these opportunities. But the key aspect will be to present itself as a diversified supplier across categories and fibres,” Vaid said. BGMEA is right in taking cognizance of such trends and setting the direction for Bangladesh to diversify beyond cotton categories, he said. With support of BGMEA, Wazir Advisors will develop a framework for the industry to identify & tap opportunities in non-cotton categories. “The study will act as a guide for the policy makers. It will encompass learnings from global leaders, evolution of industry elsewhere, key enablers – investments, ecosystem, policies and partnerships,” Vaid said. The study will be funded by IFC’s Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT II) program, supported by the government of Denmark through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh.
The RMG industry of Bangladesh is committed to continue its strides in the area of environmental sustainability in order to retain its fame as sustainable sourcing destination in the world, said BGMEA president Faruque Hassan. “We are now entering into such a regime where only economic value of a product will be not enough, the non-economic intrinsic value of product will also play a vital role,” he said. “Our industry is going green in aligned with the changing business landscape not only to remain competitive but also to contribute to minimizing the adverse impacts of production on the environment we live in,” he added. Also read: BGMEA claiming 100 percent salaries, bonuses paid to RMG workforce He was speaking at an Iftar Mahfil organized by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) at Hotel Amari in Dhaka on Saturday. Around 75 LEED projects, which got certified after May 2019, were accorded appreciation while a special acknowledgment provided to around 30 LEED Platinum-certified projects in the event. BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Directors Inamul Haq Khan (Bablu), Md. Imranur Rahman and Neela Hosna Ara were present at the event. Also read:Speakers call for ensuring functional safety committees in RMG factories Santanu Dutta Gupta, USGBC Faculty, Regional Head - Market Development GBCI – Eastern India, Bangladesh & Vietnam Markets attended the program. LEEED consultants, LEED faculties, Green architects, and other stakeholders of USGBC were present also present. Faruque Hassan said Bangladesh is proud to have the highest number of green garment factories in the world with 160 LEED certified by USGBC, of which 48 are platinum, 98 are gold. The number of green garment factories in Bangladesh is on the rise. Being green makes it easier for the factories to comply many the strategic priorities of brands which mainly aim to reduce negative impacts of manufacturing on the environment, he said. Besides a green factory provides a good working environment with desired thermal comfort for workers, hygiene, mental peace, and well-being, he remarked. "We believe that sustainability is a continuous stride and we have to continue the marathon to take the industry to the level of excellence,” the BGMEA President said.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has claimed 100 percent salary and Eid bonus of the country’s readymade garment industries have been paid. BGMEA president Faruque Hassan in a statement on Saturday thanked workers and all concerned including law enforcers for cooperation to do the job smoothly. He said that the garment workers are going to celebrate the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr with their families with the dedicated cooperation of all. BGMEA president said 100 percent factories have been paid festival allowances and advance pay in April as per the decision of the government. Eid holiday has also been announced to 100 percent of the factories. Read: RMG workers block road for Eid bonus, 20 hurt in clash with cops in Savar At the same time, the leader of the garment factory entrepreneurs also thanked the workers for paying their dues in spite of limitations by maintaining the continuity of the previous year. Faruque further said that according to the information received, the traffic pressure on the highways has come down as compared to other previous years due to the holidays being given on different dates and at different times this year. He thanked the government for taking various steps to reduce traffic congestion on the highways and to make the Eid journey of homebound people easier and safer.
The country's readymade garment (RMG) industry is committed to sustaining its achievements in workplace safety and environmental sustainability that have earned the sector global accolades, said the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). A tangible transformation has taken place in Bangladesh's apparel industry following massive safety initiatives along with extensive training of workers jointly undertaken by the government, brands, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and development partners, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said Thursday. "And we are determined to retain the fame of Bangladesh as a safe and sustainable apparel sourcing destination in the world," he added. Read OECD delegation calls on BGMEA president Faruque made the observations while speaking at a programme organised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, marking National Occupational Health and Safety Day 2022 in Dhaka. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi attended the programme as the chief guest while State Minister for Labor and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian was present as a special guest. The BGMEA president said while Bangladeshi garment factories have become safer, a concrete change has also taken place in the mindset of both workers and owners who now view workplace safety as an integral part of the industry. Read BGMEA chief for working harder to safeguard progress, prospects Safety initiatives along with training programmes supported by TC-ILO on worker-management relations, occupational safety and health, and labour laws for both factory management and workers have contributed to the change, he added. The RMG Sustainability Council has been formed to sustain workplace safety in Bangladesh, Faruque said. ILO Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen, Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments Inspector General of Nasir Uddin Ahmed, Bangladesh Employers Federation President Ardashir Kabir, and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association Executive President Mohammad Hatem were also present at the programme. Read Huawei Technologies willing to support RMG sector in renewable energy: BGMEA
Speakers at a programme stressed the need for establishing functional Safety Committees at all garment factories in the country to ensure occupational health and safety of the workers. The function titled “Commemorating Rana Plaza Tragedy: Present OSH Situation in the RMG Sector and Way Forward” was organised by the Solidarity Center-Bangladesh Office at Hotel Asia, Paltan in the city under its USAID’s Workers’ Empowerment and Participation (WEP) Activity to commemorate the Rana Plaza Tragedy. Also read: BGMEA, CNN willing to team up to promote Bangladesh RMG industry The speakers said that it has been long nine years since the worst tragedy in the RMG sector in the country. Still there is a long way to go in terms of improving the health and safety conditions in the factories, they said. Addressing the function Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Labor and Employment Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan said, “We have the responsibility of finding the weaknesses of Safety Committees and resolving them accordingly.” There can neither be any negligence in their work nor corruption”, she said adding, the stakeholders have to identify the needs of Rana Plaza victims and assist them accordingly. Advocate AKM Nasim, Country Program Director, Solidarity Center, Bangladesh Office, said after Rana Plaza tragedy, Accord, Alliance and now the RSC are working for a safer workplace. “We have advanced a lot but still how much the safety committees in factories are able to function is a question. Worker representatives should be allowed to play a stronger role in Safety Committees”, he said. Advocate Nazrul Islam, Program Officer at the Solidarity Center in his presentation highlighted that research needs to be conducted on weaknesses and challenges and how to make Safety Committees functional. Also read: Let’s join hands to create brighter future for RMG industry: BGMEA He added that it is extremely vital to build the capacity of the members of Safety Committee on Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) through training, orientation, learning visits, etc. Professor Dr. Jakir Hossain said that institutional and legal framework should be strengthened to prevent any accidents in future. Nazma Yesmin, Director at BILS, said that the injured victims should be given long term medical treatment and health care facilities. Salauddin Shapon, President of Bangladesh Revolutionary Garment Workers Federation (BRGWF) said that a lot of actions were taken to overcome safety issues in the past few years but now the development has become stagnant.. Participants called for improving fire safety arrangements for the workers and introducing trade union and Safety Committee in all the garment factories. Advocate A.K.M. Nasim, Country Program Director of the Solidarity Center, Salauddin Shapon, President of Bangladesh Revolutionary Garment Workers Federation, Dr. Jakir Hossain, Professor at Institute of Bangladesh Studies, Rajshahi University, Nazma Yesmin, Director at BILS and Advocate Md. Borkot Ali, Deputy Director (Legal) of BLAST spoke at the event. Representatives from USAID, ILO, SKOP, NCCWE, Sajeda Foundation, BLF, Labor Court Bar were also present in the event.
January of this year was the busiest month for garment workers in Bangladesh since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers spent 295 hours on average in the factory during the 27 working days in January, which is higher than usual. This was revealed in a research of South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM), in collaboration with USA-based non-profit organization, Microfinance Opportunities (MFO), on the quality of life of garment workers in Bangladesh. Also read: Inflation rate is double than the BBS data, says SANEM in a report Around 1,300 selected garment workers are surveyed every week since April 2020 under the project “Garment Worker Diaries”. These workers are employed in factories spread across the five main industrial areas of Bangladesh (Chittagong, Dhaka City, Gazipur, Narayanganj, and Savar). Three-quarters of the survey respondents are women, which roughly represents the composition of labour force in the RMG sector as a whole. This press release has been prepared from the survey data collected in January and February of 2022. Also read: Female labour force participation lagging in Bangladesh: SANEM webinar Excluding the one-hour lunch break, the workers worked 268 hours on average in January. Female workers worked 267 hours on average, while male workers worked 270 hours, excluding the one-hour lunch break. In the 24 working days of February, the workers spent 259 hours on average in the factory. Workers worked 235 hours on an average in February, excluding the one-hour lunch break. Read Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wears garment made in Bangladesh Among them, female workers worked 234 hours on an average and male workers worked 235 hours on an average. In both January and February, half of the surveyed workers worked more than the legally allowed 10 hours, which accounts 8 regular hours and 2 overtime hours. For the work in December, female workers got a salary of Tk 12,000 on average in January, while male workers got salary of Tk 12,500 on average. Read BGMEA urges BEZA to expedite garment village construction at Mirsarai For the work in January, female workers got salary of Tk 12,000 on average in February, the same as in January. Male workers got a salary of Tk 13,000 on average, a Tk 500 increase over the January amount. In February, 54 percent of workers were paid through mobile financial services (bKash, Nagad, Rocket, etc.) and 46 percent were paid in cash. Read Embrace employees with disabilities, garment industry urged About 20 percent of the garment workers reported that at least one member of their household was ill during February. This illness rate was 26 percent in January.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has called for the need to create more employment opportunities for transgender people to include them into the mainstream economy. "Transgender people are often treated in such a manner as if they are outsiders. We have to change the negative attitude towards transgender people and create employment opportunities so that they can become self-reliant and contribute to the economy," BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said. Read: Bangladesh well on track to adopt fintech for sustainable growth: Salim The BGMEA chief was addressing a ceremony of the "Social Responsibility Award 2022" held in Dhaka Friday to inspire transgender people. State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid attended the programme as chief guest. "Opportunities are opening up for the transgender community to live a dignified life through employment in formal sectors. It's encouraging to see transgender people are being included into the mainstream economy, though their number is still insignificant," Faruque said. Read Jhenaidah’s Ritu becomes first transgender UP chairman in Bangladesh "With their talent and indomitable determination, the transgender people have turned themselves into skilled apparel workers. With their jobs in the garment factories, they are becoming self-aware, financially independent, and proud citizens within the society," he added. "However, an all-out effort from all quarters is required to make real change in this field. Apart from the garment industry, we should also explore the opportunities that are available for them in other sectors," the BGMEA president said. Lawmaker Aroma Dutta, SheMen Welfare Organization President Dr Ariful Hoque and Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs Ashim Kumar Dey also spoke at the programme. Read Empowering transgender and hijra communities a priority of the state: NBR chairman
The apparel industry of Bangladesh is also committed to sustaining the progress made in workplace safety while developing its capacities to retain competitiveness in the changing business landscape, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) says. "Learning lessons from the past, the garment industry of Bangladesh has made unprecedented progress, particularly in workplace safety. We have also made an exemplary stride in environmental sustainability," BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said. Read: USAID launches $5 mn project to empower women in RMG factories He was addressing a seminar organised by Particip GmbH on behalf of GIZ at a Dhaka hotel Wednesday. Owners and senior management representatives of the BGMEA and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association participating member factories in the Communication Component of the STILE project were present at the event. The Communication Component of STILE intends to contribute to improved compliance with its awareness-raising, information and education campaigns. The project developed a pool of trainers from the three industry associations – the BGMEA, BKMEA and Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh – to build the capacity of factory committees in their member factories and will continue the intervention until November 2023. Read: Bangladesh now safest, most transparent RMG maker in the world: BGMEA The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is implementing the programme "Sustainability in the Textile and Leather Sector in Bangladesh (STILE)." Anneke Magendans, team leader of the Particip GmbH-led tripartite consortium, said: "Our approach does not stop with solely conducting training." "The association trainers follow up by guiding the factory committees and supporting them to bring into practice what they have learnt. Also, the approach is fully transparent. Producers have access, via a QR code, to a website where they can find all related campaign and training materials."
US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a $5 million project titled “Women Thrive in Bangladesh” to empower women who are working in readymade garment factories in Bangladesh. With the US government support, CARE Bangladesh will implement the new project and expand professional development opportunities for over 100,000 women working in sector by equipping them with market-oriented leadership skills. Read USAID: Some structural issues to be fixed in Bhasan Char
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has proposed retaining the existing source tax and corporate tax facility in the export- oriented garment industry for another 5 years. The garment manufacturers have also sought 10 percent income tax exemption on cash assistance to increase the capacity of entrepreneurs. BGMEA president Faruque Hassan put the proposal to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) in the pre-budget discussion for the fiscal year 2022-23 held at the conference hall of NBR building in Segunbagicha on Thursday. NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem presided over the discussion. Besides, NBR Member (Customs Policy) Masud Sadiq, Member (VAT Policy) Zakia Sultana and Member (Income Tax Policy) Sams Uddin Ahmed also spoke on the occasion. Faruque Hassan said, "We have tackled the challenges of Covid-19 better than many other countries and now we are reaping its positive results. Our exports have increased and exports rose to USD $ 5 billion a month.” Read: Prepare universal pension scheme for all: Hasina “There is an opportunity to continue such an upward trend in exports. In such a situation, I am requesting to maintain the existing 0.50 per cent source tax, 12 percent corporate tax for general factories and 10 percent for green factories for another five years.” BGMEA president said. In response, the NBR chairman said the government has a good empathy for the garment industry. “I think your quantity of orders has increased recently with the opportunity that the government provided to the garment industries to meet the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic. The NBR is examining the matter,” he added. The NBR Chairman said efforts will be made to facilitate the import of yarn or cotton in the country for the expansion of the garment industry.