A delegation comprising senior officials of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) paid a visit to BGMEA and held a meeting with BGMEA President Faruque Hassan at the latter’s office in Dhaka on May 21.
The team included Fernando Mistura, Economist/Policy Analyst, OECD DAF Investment unit; Iris Mantovani, Policy Analyst, OECD DAF Investment unit; Sebastian Weber, Policy Analysts, OECD RBC Centre; Matthias Altmann, Senior Policy Analyst, OECD RBC Centre; Soon Chan Hong, Senior Country Specialist, ADB; Mahbub Rabbani, Senior Economics Officer, ADB; and Masrur Reaz, ADB Consultant.
Vice President of BKMEA Fazlee Shamim Ehsan was also present at the meeting.
They had discussions about different issues including the role of FDI in the garment industry and the economy of Bangladesh as a whole and the economic implications from the upcoming graduation from LDC status in 2026.
They also discussed the challenges for further diversification and FDI attraction within and outside the garments industry.
The impact of due diligence requirements on Bangladesh’s garment industry also got importance in the meeting.
They talked about the OECD Investment Policy Review of Bangladesh. The review would assess the climate for domestic and foreign investment in the country and propose actions for improving the framework conditions for investment.
As one of the largest trade associations in Bangladesh, and the readymade garment industry being a significant contributor to Bangladesh’s economy, BGMEA is an important consultation partner in writing the review.
In the meeting, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan gave an overview of the readymade garment industry including its current status, challenges and opportunities.
He apprised the visiting delegation of the industry’s vision and preparedness to meet the future challenges and enhance the competitiveness, especially through product diversification, technological upgradation, skill development.
He said Bangladesh’s RMG industry had laid special emphasis on high-value garments and attracting investment in different potential sectors like high value-added and non-cotton textiles along with others.
Faruque Hassan also said the apparel industry of Bangladesh was working on building up the capacity in the area of sustainability and due diligence.
The OECD-ADB delegation praised the huge progress made by Bangladesh’s RMG industry in the areas of workplace safety and environmental sustainability, saying the achievements could be emulated by other industrial sectors.
They called upon BGMEA to extend its cooperation so that other sectors could follow the models in ensuring workplace safety and environmental sustainability practices.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan assured the delegation of extending cooperation of the industry and BGMEA in this regard by sharing experiences and expertise.