‘RMG market expansion, innovation key agenda’

Sammilita Parishad leader Faruque Hassan wants to make ‘BGMEA for all’

Sohel Hossain Patwary

22 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

‘RMG market expansion, innovation key agenda’

Faruque Hassan

Faruque Hassan, the panel leader of Sammilita Parishad for the next Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) election, wants to explore new markets and develop new products more vigorously in the coming days by injecting his long experience in diversified fields in the apparel sector.

Ahead of the BGMEA election to be held on April 4, Faruque Hassan, managing director of Giant Group, who was also a former vice president of the apparel trade body, talked with the Daily Sun to share his insights on the upcoming challenges of the apparel sector, his vision, focus and future plans for the advancement of country’s garment sector.

“I have been working for new market development since 2009 to support robust growth for the RMG sector. We have been able to gain 16 per cent market share in non-traditional countries from the 7 per cent,” he said, adding that the growth got slower during the last one and a half years.

Pledging to grab new markets, Faruque Hassan thinks Bangladesh has huge potential in non-traditional destinations like Russia, UAE, Korea, Malaysia, and China.

Mentioning high dependence on five prime products, the leader of the Sammilita Parishad panel said new market exploration will also lead to the expansion of new products.

“I have a long experience working with foreign missions of Bangladesh. I will augment the effort in association with the Foreign Ministry and Commerce Ministry to grab new markets and support innovation,” said Faruque Hassan.

Replying to a query regarding the extension of the loan repayment period, he said apparel entrepreneurs are in a tight spot over their business due to the bad impact of the corona pandemic.

He also said if elected, his panel will advocate for increasing the loan repayment period from the existing 18 months and reduce the instalment size.

“We will take measures step by step and negotiate with the government and banks so that apparel owners get relief from the repayment pressure,” added Faruque Hassan.

Emphasizing the development of man-made fibre (MMF)-based garments, he said the Bangladesh apparel industry still depends on cotton-based garments and there is a big room for Bangladesh to better with MMF.

Global production of MMF garment production and consumption is more than 70 per cent while Bangladesh exports 74 per cent cotton-based products.

“There is a big room to develop MMF-based garments. If the government provides an incentive on MMF based garments export, it will bring more order for us. If I get elected, I will focus on it”, said the Parishad leader.

The government always keeps faith in RMG makers and they also bring good feedback for the country, he said, expressing his firm belief that they can bring good results in developing MMF-based export if the government provides incentives.

Narrating the importance of branding, promotion and building the reputation of RMG as well as the country, Faruque Hassan said Bangladesh’s RMG sector has improved in all indexes and has significant best practices.

“But we have failed to utilize our industry brand, reputation and best practices before the world. We have to boost our exposure in the global arena,” he said.

Recalling his experience with the world’s leading federation for apparel manufacturers International Apparel Federation (IAF), Faruque Hassan said he is very much keen to utilize this global platform for branding Bangladesh’s RMG.

“I worked with them for long and I am in touch with IAF. IAF has committed me to organize a big conference, convention, and fair next year in Bangladesh. If we come to the BGMEA board, it will be a great occasion for us to showcase our industry,” added Faruque Hassan.

Sammilita Parishad has picked up 35-panel members comprising a mixed bag of experienced leaders, successful and young entrepreneurs.

Talking over the mix panel, he said their panel has picked up leaders who have experience working with BGMEA, successful entrepreneurs who are now committed to working for the industry.

It would help them to focus on every aspect of their vision and goals for the industry, he added.

Answering a question on what kind of BGMEA he wants if he gets elected, Faruque Hassan mentioned that he wants to serve the country’s apparel industry by making ‘BGMEA for all’.