B’desh seeks support from foreign partners for RMG sector

United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali on Thursday said the RMG industry and the government are determined to bring in changes whatever might be necessary for its further development, and sought support from foreign friends and partners.
‘Some important constraints are there for which Bangladesh requires support from friends and partners,’ he said.
The foreign minister was addressing a high-level conference on ‘RMG Industry and Beyond: Bangladesh – Framing the Future’ arranged at the initiative of the Danish government at a city hotel.
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, Danish minister for trade and development cooperation Mogens Jensen, state minister for labour and employment M Mujibul Haque Chunnu, BGMEA president M Atiqul Islam, Shirin Akhter, MP, business leader Syed Nasim Manzur, Roy Ramesh Chandra, ILO country director Srinivas B Reddy and Netherlands ambassador in Dhaka Gerben Sjoerd de Jong, among others, spoke at various sessions of the conference.
The foreign minister mentioned that contemporary Bangladesh RMG and textile sector is in the throes of transformation.
‘In the process, our younger workforce has demonstrated their skills, adaptability and diligence. Our entrepreneurs has weathered challenges and ventured into new lands and areas.’
He said Bangladesh counts on support from its friends — at bilateral and global levels — towards a broader dialogue with all stakeholders within global supply chain(s). ‘As norms, practices or, guidelines are considered, Bangladesh would stress that those should be geared towards creating a truly level-playing field.’
While addressing another session, Tofail Ahmed sought help from the brands apart from an increase in product price.
Appreciating the progress in the RMG sector, he said there has been no accident in the last two years. ‘Workers are also happy with the working environment with increased wages. They’ve now more bargaining power.’
Mogens Jensen in his speech said there is undoubtedly progress but more needs to be done, and termed Rana Plaza disaster as ‘game changer’.
He hoped that the conference will inspire other industries in Bangladesh and its stakeholders to look at how they can take advantage of the lessons learned from the RMG sector.
On the sidelines of the conference, the visiting Danish minister met AH Mahmood Ali at the same venue.
During the meeting, the Danish minister thanked the foreign minister for his presence in the conference and said Denmark would like to expand the existing cooperative relations between the two countries.
Upon a query from the Danish minister, Mahmood Ali said all the minority communities are safe during the Awami League government.
In response to a reference made by the Danish minister on the political situation in Bangladesh, the Foreign Minister informed that what BNP and its allies have been doing since January 6 this year are not at all political activities or movements.
Mahmood Ali also said these are purely acts of violence and terror that killed innocent common people.
The situation has almost returned to normalcy and would be absolutely normal very soon, the Foreign Minister added.
He further mentioned that violence has no place in any democratic political movement to which the Danish Minister expressed his agreement.

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