Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said both brands and buyers should come forward to help the garment industry owners overhauling their factories.
The premier laid emphasis on adopting short, medium and long-term plans for boosting demands for Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) products in the world market.
“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 would continue to provide its support in this regard,” she said while inaugurating the Dhaka Apparel Summit 2017 at Hotel Sonargaon, reports BSS.
“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.”
The summit aims at exploring priority areas for turning Bangladeshi ready-made garments into a sustainable sector.
Highlighting her government’s various steps for the development of the RMG sector, Hasina said that a number of measures had been taken up at the international level to make the RMG sector safe.
The premier also stressed 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-dependent. Again, our export is also limited to a few countries of North America and West Europe,” she said, adding that such situation in export market was not healthy.
Hasina said that there were many opportunities to increase our export basket and expand our export market.
“I would like to draw the attention of our exporters. The government will extend an all-out support to boost export earnings.”
The premier said that after the Rana Plaza collapse, 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.
Hasina said that her government had been working to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by the year 2021. “The RMG sector can play a vital role in achieving the goal,” she said.
“The USA did not give such facilities to Bangladesh. But as a least developed country, we have the rights to get it from them ... despite that we are paying tax to them,” she said, adding that Bangladesh exports products worth $3 billion to the USA annually and pay $850 million as taxes.
Hasina called upon the entrepreneurs to take steps so that the purchase capacity of the people increased and the local market expanded.
The premier underscored the need for massive industrialisation and creating employment opportunities to further cut the poverty rate to materialise the Vision 2021.
“Work is underway to establish Special Economic Zones across the country, and two such Economic Zones - one in Dhaka and other in Chittagong - will be earmarked for the BGMEA,” she said.
Hasina said that the Department of Inspection of Factories and Establishment was working for improving the environment of factories and ensuring their safety.
“Measures have also been taken to strengthen the Minimum Wage Commission apart from granting right to do union at Export Processing Zones, amendment of labour laws and issuance of labour rules for protecting workers rights,” she said.
The premier said that the BGMEA had been playing a pioneering role in the development and expansion of RMG, especially expansion of its global market. “Alongside, our government has also been providing necessary policy support and incentives,” she said.
As a sequel to the success of first Dhaka Apparel Summit (DAS) in 2014, BGMEA organised the daylong second edition of the event with the theme “Together for a better tomorrow.”