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ILO global business forum highlights the importance of a sustainability vision for Bangladesh’s RMG sector

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S and D final logoThe Annual Bangladesh Business Forum, held in Dhaka focused on sustainability in the RMG industry. The theme of the forum was ‘Driving Sustainable Change.’ It was organised by the Better Work Bangladesh (BWB) program, a joint collaboration between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Discussions at the forum centered on the need for a globally competitive garment industry supported by improved labor market governance, effective social dialogue and responsible sourcing practices to ensure decent work and generate long-term prosperity for the industry. A number of speakers also highlighted ongoing issues facing the industry, including how BWB and its brand partners can continue to address gender and OSH non-compliances.

Over 350 RMG stakeholders, including representatives from the government, employers’ and workers’ organisations, development partners, global brands and retailers, manufacturers, civil society and academia attended the high-level event. Through its core services— assessments, advisory and training—Better Work works to improve compliance practices and deliver beneficial outcomes to both factories and workers. The Better work program currently works with more than 1,700 factories and 2.4 million workers in eight countries and engages 60 global brands and retailers. Better Work brings together all levels of the garment industry to improve working conditions and respect for labor rights for workers and boost the competitiveness of apparel businesses.