Transparency, sharing responsibility stressed for sustainable RMG sector

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Nov 06,2019 | Updated: 23:29, Nov 05,2019


State minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam attends as chief guest the plenary session of the Sustainable Apparel Forum 2019 at International Convention City, Bashundhara in Dhaka on Tuesday. Canadian high commissioner to Bangladesh Benoit Prefontaine, Dhaka North city corporation mayor Md Atiqul Islam, Bangladesh Apparel Exchange managing director and BGMEA director Md Mohiuddin Rubel and H&M Group sustainability head, global production Pierre Borjesson were present on the occasion. — New Age photo

Experts and businesses on Tuesday emphasised on maintaining transparency and sharing responsibility to ensure sustainability for the readymade garment sector in Bangladesh.

In a plenary session of the second edition of Sustainable Apparel Forum, they said many issues including environment, workers wellbeing, responsible business conduct, and climate change should bring under consideration to make the country’s apparel industry sustainable.

They also said any single party could not ensure sustainability rather suppliers and retailers should share responsibilities.

Bangladesh Apparel Exchange and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association with the support of Netherlands, H&M, C&A foundation and ILO- better work Bangladesh organised the day-long event at International Convention City, Bashundhara in Dhaka.

‘Bangladesh’s garment industry is not just important for Bangladesh but it is important for whole global textile industry. The size of Bangladesh’s textile is of course deserves global importance on how we developing this market,’ H&M group head of sustainability Pierre Borjesson said.

He said there was global effect of different issues such as climate change, workers wellbeing and strong social dialogue.

Borjesson said Bangladeshi readymade garment sector was the wonder of success and it showed how the industry can ensure betterment of people.

‘We need to continue the progress and keep in mind that workers are the key force of the success,’ he said.

Borjesson suggested for strong dialogue between workforce and employers saying that Bangladesh needs collaboration with workers to reach the target of $50 billion export by 2021.

He also said ground water was going down gradually and industry people would have to consider the impact on water when they would go for more production to meet the $50 billion export target.  

Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md Atiqul Islam said business would not be sustained in the long run if the manufacturers move towards sustainability.

He said Bangladesh RMG sector was going through a transformation for last six year and the industry became the safest manufacturing sector in the world but buyers were not paying fare prices of products.

Atiqul said Bangladesh was committed to ensure workplace safety and workers’ wellbeing and dignity.

State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh RMG sector was going through massive transformation and changing conversional approach for work.

Suppliers and buyers would have to join hands to transfer knowledge for sustainability and to face the challenges of 4th industrial revolution.

A number of plenary sessions took place in the event and ILO country director Tuomo Poutiainen , BGMEA director Mohammad Abdul Momen, labour leader Nazma  Akter, executive director of Ethical Trading Initiate Peter McAllister and Economic Growth Office of USAID director Bangladesh John Smith-Sreen took part in the discussion.

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