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For a robust RMG sector

  • Published at 12:00 am February 11th, 2019
RMG
Photo: RAJIB DHAR

For Bangladesh to still remain competitive, international buyers need to increase the prices of their apparels

There is no doubt that the state of our RMG sector -- and, subsequently, the conditions of its factories -- has experienced exponential improvements over the last few years. 

There is a reason that our RMG industry has emerged as one of the largest suppliers to the world and one of the biggest contributors to our economy: Not only has the introduction of newer technologies increased manufacturing efficiency and enhanced the quality of the products, but the conditions under which employees work has also undergone vast improvements. 

However, despite such progress -- a big part of which has included increasing wages for the workers -- the fact remains that, for Bangladesh to still remain competitive on the global stage, international buyers need to increase the prices of their respective apparels. 

The situation is further worsened by the hyper-competitive culture that exists within the sector itself, with Bangladeshi manufacturers undercutting each other to keep costs low and profits high. 

There is no doubt that stake-holders have played significant a role in ensuring better conditions for RMG workers, with successful adherence to standards set by the Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. 

But for sustainable growth and tangible improvement within the sector, stake-holders must also come to an agreement on pricing which provides employees with the salary they deserve while also safeguarding Bangladesh’s position in the global apparel market. 

Such a step would not only allow our nation to keep supplying the finest quality garments to the world, but also nurture a culture of inclusiveness and create a much more motivated workforce. 

The results are easy to predict: A much more robust RMG sector.