Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Buyers must play their part to ensure a better RMG sector

It is about time that the prices offered by foreign buyers match their expectations from our RMG industry

Update : 20 Mar 2024, 10:16 AM

There is no questioning what the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh means to the economy, employing millions and being largely the only significant export industry in the nation. However, one issue continues to plague the industry: The constant tug of war with regard to the minimum wage standards set. 

To that end, it is about time that the prices offered by foreign buyers match their expectations from our RMG industry. Bangladesh must also commit to ensuring decent wages for its workers, however, it cannot do this without buyers actively engaging with their suppliers in Bangladesh.

We are particularly encouraged by the suggestions mentioned in a recent study by the Fair Labour Association (FLA), one of which is that suppliers ought to have the opportunity to provide feedback if purchase orders fail to account for increased labour costs.

While Bangladesh's RMG sector has seen significant growth, this should not come at the expense of its workers. Foreign buyers often negotiate prices that do not reflect these standards, leading to low wages and poor working conditions.

Committing to fair prices goes beyond merely moral obligations. By offering fair prices for Bangladeshi RMG products, foreign buyers can contribute to the welfare of workers and the sustainable growth of the industry. 

This in the long run benefits foreign buyers themselves by fostering a stable and skilled workforce, reduces turnover rates, and overall, enhancing the reputation of the brands as socially responsible businesses.

As Bangladesh strives to enhance the welfare of its workers and elevate its RMG sector, foreign buyers must play their part. If we are to be held accountable for poor labour conditions as we ought to be, then these foreign buyers must not be held to different standards and enabling conditions to continue these conditions. 

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