BGMEA President encourages more research on ethical sourcing and fair price
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan met with Dr. Mark Anner, Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights at Penn State University.
The meeting took place in New York on September 27.
They discussed various contemporary issues of Bangladesh’s RMG industry where the issues of ethical sourcing and apparel price decline got due importance.
Faruque Hassan expressed thanks to Professor Mark Anner for his research initiatives on a crucial subject like ethical sourcing and pricing in the global apparel industry.
He also thanked him for conducting the survey report titled ‘Abandoned? The impact of Covid-19 on workers and businesses at the bottom of global garment supply chains.” The report created a huge global attention and raised call for responsible sourcing behavior from brands.
The BGMEA President shared how price decline coupled with increased production cost has put pressure on manufacturers and made their recovery from the pandemic impacts difficult.
He said the cost of raw materials along with freight fare has gone up during the pandemic period, which is putting extra pressure on the manufacturers.
He said the apparel industry of Bangladesh earned global recognitions for its incredible strides in workplace safety and sustainability.
Despite huge investment in safety and sustainability, suppliers are not getting justified prices. On the contrary, the price of our apparel is declining every year and nobody can justify a lower price to produce socially fair goods, the BGMEA President said.
He said BGMEA would cooperate and collaborate with Professor Mark Anner in his research and study on the industry.
BGMEA President stresses on study on RMG industry to portray its true picture
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan met with Michael Posner, Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance, and Director, Center for Business and Human Rights at Leonard N. Stern School of Business, in New York on September 27.
Giant Group Director Sharmeen Hassan Tithi was also present on the occasion.
They had engaging conversation on the present situation of Bangladesh’s apparel industry, its challenges, opportunities and future priorities.
Faruque Hassan shared the incredible journey of Bangladesh’s RMG especially the sector’s strides in the areas of workplace safety, environmental sustainability and workers’ rights and welfare.
He also talked about the declining price trend in the apparel market which has posed a major challenge for the industry, especially at a time when the sector is struggling to turn around from impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While highlighting the progress, he said the RMG industry has secured a prestigious position in the world being one of the most ethical manufacturing hubs with the support and collaboration of all stakeholders. But unfortunately the industry is often presented negatively and unjustifiably through biased reports.
He thanked Professor Michael Posner for taking interest in the RMG industry and carrying out research on it and assured him of BGMEA’s collaboration in his works on the sector.
His research could play an important role in dispelling misconceptions about the industry and sharing the good stories with the world, the BGMEA President said.
BGMEA President reinforces economic diplomacy to realize trade potential
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan has underscored the need for constructive dialogues, research, economic diplomacy and engagement with governments and stakeholders at international level so that the momentum behind Bangladesh’s economic growth continues to build after LDC graduation.
He made the observations during a meeting with Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, and Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations held at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York on September 28.
Director of Giant Group Sharmeen Hassan Tithi was also present on the occasion.
The discussions encompassed the issues regarding graduation of Bangladesh from LDC, possible changes in the tariff regime in export markets and how preferential market access can be continued in the post-LDC status.
Faruque Hassan said finding pragmatic ways for retaining the market access facilities is vital to remain competitive in export markets while creating new market opportunities will be equally important to explore.
He laid emphasis on efforts in securing continuation of trade benefit for Bangladesh for 12 years after the graduation from the LDC category in 2026.
He apprised them of BGMEA’s research initiative to explore market opportunities for RMG exports. He also briefed them on the new Centre of Innovation, Efficiency and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) which is being established at the newly built headquarters of BGMEA in Uttara to enhance competitiveness of the readymade garment industry of Bangladesh.
He also highlighted the contribution of Bangladesh’s RMG sector in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and underlined the need for projecting the success stories on global platforms including the UN.
BGMEA President underscores NRBs engagement in Bangladesh’s development
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan paid a courtesy call on Sadia Faizunnesa, Consul General, the Consulate General of Bangladesh in New York on September 28.
They discussed different issues, especially possible areas of engagement of non-resident Bangladeshis in the national development and how more foreign investment could be attracted in Bangladesh.
Faruque Hassan said many of NRBs still retain very strong emotional ties with Bangladesh and are willing to contribute to through lending skills and experience or as investors, if they are given proper opportunities.
He requested the Consul General to extend more support, services and information to potential investors in order to encourage them to make investment in Bangladesh.
He sought the cooperation of Consul General Sadia Faizunnesa in paving the way for Bangladeshis living in the USA so that they can promote the interests of Bangladesh, including branding the country positively.
Bangladesh focuses on building capacities to cater to buyers demand for diversified products
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said Bangladesh would continue its efforts to remain to be a preferred choice of global apparel brands as a safe, ethical and sustainable sourcing destination.
He made the remark during a meeting with Halide Alagöz, Executive Vice President, Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer at Ralph Lauren Corp. in New York on September 29.
Alongside the strides in safety and sustainability, the industry is also increasingly focusing on diversifying its products and building capacities to cater to the demands of global brands and buyers, Faruque Hassan said.
Importance is being given to up-grading particularly in the areas of skills and efficiency enhancement, technological upgrading, and diversification of products, especially non-cotton.
The BGMEA President requested Ralph Lauren to support and collaborate with their suppliers in Bangladesh to build their capacities in manufacturing apparel products having higher market demand.
Ralph Lauren is one of the world’s largest fashion brands.
BGMEA will continue apparel diplomacy to realize untapped potential of RMG industry
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said apparel diplomacy can aid in opening a window of opportunities for Bangladesh’s RMG industry and realizing untapped trade potential.
Discussions and engagement with the stakeholders not only help to strengthen business relations and retain existing trade benefits but also pave the way of new opportunities, he said.
He made the remark while addressing a press conference organized by BGMEA at a hotel in Dhaka on October 2 to share the experience and outcomes of his just-concluded visit to the USA and Canada.
BGMEA First Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam, Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Vice President (Finance) Khandoker Rafiqul Islam, Vice President Miran Ali, Vice President Rakibul Alam Chowdhury, Directors Barrister Shehrin Salam Oishee, Asif Ashraf, Md. Khosru Chowdhury, Faisal Samad, Abdullah Hil Rakib, Rajiv Chowdhury, Barrister Vidiya Amrit Khan and M. Ahsanul Hoq were present at the media briefing.
BGMEA Director Md. Mohiuddin Rubel moderated the press conference.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan paid a month-long visit to the USA and Canada as a part of apparel diplomacy to promote the interests of Bangladesh’s garment industry and enhance its brand image.
During the tour he held meetings with stakeholders including buyers, brands’ associations, government high-ups, international media, academia, development partners and non-resident Bangladeshis living in the USA and Canada.
The issues of ethical sourcing and price, sustainability, positive stories of the industry, foreign investment in backward linkage industries, product diversification, capacity building in high-end product manufacturing and others got priority during his discussions with the stakeholders in the USA and Canada, two major apparel export markets for Bangladesh.
The BGMEA President also highlighted potential of Bangladesh’s apparel industry and sought cooperation of brands and buyers for stronger partnership with Bangladeshi suppliers to develop their capacities.
He requested the Bangladeshi diplomats in the USA and Canada to step up their diplomatic efforts to showcase the positive stories of Bangladesh’s RMG industry and attract foreign investment to potential sectors in Bangladesh.
Faruque Hassan said BGMEA would continue its dialogues and engagement with the stakeholders as part of apparel diplomacy to protect the interests of the RMG industry.
Share positive stories of Bangladesh RMG industry with Danish brands and consumers: BGMEA President requests Denmark Ambassador
Ambassador of Denmark to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen paid a courtesy call on BGMEA President Faruque Hassan at BGMEA PR office in Gulshan, Dhaka on October 3.
BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim, Vice President Miran Ali, Søren Asbjørn Albertsen, Sector Counsellor, and Ali Mushtaq Butt, Commercial Counsellor at the Danish Embassy were also present on the occasion.
They had discussions about issues related to the readymade garment industry in Bangladesh, including its progress in the areas of workplace safety, environmental sustainability and wellbeing of workers.
They also talked about scope of further collaboration and cooperation from Denmark especially in enhancing productivity and facilitating more use of energy-efficient technologies in the garment industry of Bangladesh.
Faruque Hassan sought the support of the Government of Denmark in securing continuation of duty-benefit for Bangladesh in the European Union for 12 years after the graduation from LDC in 2026 to ensure smoother transition.
Denmark is a member country of the European Union which provides duty-free market access to Bangladesh as a LDC under its EBA program.
Faruque Hassan requested Ambassador Winnie Estrup to share the positive development and stories about the RMG industry, she witnessed during her stay in Dhaka, with both brands and consumers.
He also called on the envoy to request Danish brands and retailers to be more rational in pricing as nobody can justify lower price to produce socially fair goods.
Consul General in Hong Kong pays courtesy visit to BGMEA President
Ms. Israt Ara, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka and Consul General-designate to Consulate General of Bangladesh in Hong Kong, China paid a courtesy visit to BGMEA President Faruque Hassan at the latter’s office in Gulshan on October 4.
Faruque Hassan congratulated Ms. Israt Ara on her new appointment as Consul General in Hong Kong which is a major trading hub where most of the apparel brands have their regional offices.
He requested Ms. Israt Ara to extend more support and services to buyers, especially in obtaining visa to visit Bangladesh for meeting their apparel suppliers.
He also called on her to cooperate with the members of BGMEA who need to visit Hong Kong to participate in international apparel exhibitions.
The fairs provide a great opportunity for the garment manufactures of Bangladesh to have business interactions with potential buyers.
BGMEA Vice President Miran Ali was also present on the occasion.
About the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is one of the largest trade associations in the country representing the readymade garment industry, particularly the woven garments, knitwear and sweater sub-sectors with equal importance. Starting its journey in 1983 today BGMEA takes care of an industry that is at the backbone of Bangladesh’s economy. Since the inception, BGMEA is dedicated to promote and facilitate the apparel industry through policy advocacy to the government, services to members, ensuring workers’ rights and social compliance at factories. BGMEA collaborates with local and international stakeholders, including brands and development partners to pave the way for development of Bangladesh apparel industry. Currently, BGMEA has around four thousand registered garment factories.