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Bangladesh committed to retain fame as a safe and sustainable apparel sourcing destination: BGMEA President

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Desk Report: The readymade garment industry of Bangladesh is firmly committed to sustaining its achievements made in the areas of workplace safety and environmental sustainability that has earned the sector global accolades, said Faruque Hassan, President of BGMEA.

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“A tangible transformation has taken place in Bangladesh’s apparel industry following massive safety initiatives along with extensive trainings of workers jointly taken by the Government, brands, ILO and development partners,” he said. The industry is now a role model for others to emulate and we are determined to retain the fame of Bangladesh as a safe and sustainable apparel sourcing destination in the world, he added. Faruque Hassan made the observations while speaking at a program organized by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in observance of the National Occupational Health and Safety Day-2022 in Dhaka on April 28.

Honorable Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi MP attended the program as chief guest while State Minister for Labor and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian MP was present as special guest. Labor and Employment Secretary Labour and Employment Secretary Md. Ehsan-E-Elahi chaired the event. In his speech the BGMEA President said while Bangladeshi garment factories have become safer, a concrete change has also taken place in the mindset of both workers and owners who view workplace safety as an integral part of the industry. Safety initiatives along with the massive training program supported by TC-ILO on worker-management relations, Occupational Safety and Health, and labor laws for both factory management and workers have contributed to the change, he said.

The RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) has been formed to sustain the workplace safety in Bangladesh, he said adding that the RSC continues with factory inspections, remediation monitoring, safety training, he remarked. Faruque Hassan also highlighted the steps taken by the government including amending the labour law and passage of the Labour Rules, making elected Participation Committee and Safety Committee mandatory in garment factories. Furthermore, a workers’ welfare fund has been created for the export oriented industries where the apparel industry alone contributed more than 14 million dollars this year and which increases in line with the growth of RMG exports, he further said. ILO Country Director for Bangladesh Tuomo Poutiainen, Inspector General of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) Nasir Uddin Ahmed, President of Bangladesh Employers Federation Ardashir Kabir, and Executive President of BKMEA Mohammad Hatem were also present at the program.