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Workers’ vaccination a top priority of govt

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 20 August, 2021 12:00 AM
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Workers’ vaccination a top priority of govt

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Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said vaccination of the garment workers is on the top priority list of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.

He made the remarks during a meeting with Walmart vice president Paul Dyck at the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC on Wednesday.

Commerce minister, who led the Bangladesh delegation to the Magic Las Vegas 2021 trade show, made a brief stopover at Washington DC to participate in a trade roundtable organized by McLarty Associates.  

He said that the government and the factory owners were working hand in hand to vaccinate the garment workers each day, said a press release of the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC.

Tipu Munshi said, “The government hopes to vaccinate 5 million workers in the ready-made garment sector within a month and a half.”

Commerce minister highlighted the government's efforts and the factories' preparedness to ensure safety of the workers in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the next six months, more than 60 percent of the total population of Bangladesh will be vaccinated,” he hoped.

Walmart vice president said, “With the improvement of the COVID 19 situation in the USA, Walmart is now ready to explore and source more from abroad.”

Apart from the ready-made garment products, the minister encouraged Walmart to buy leather goods, pharmaceuticals, light engineering items including bicycles, and plastic products from Bangladesh.   

Over the luncheon roundtable, chairman of Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation Syed Mahmudul Huq highlighted the need to position the black tigers as a premium shrimp in the US market.

He said they would need to ensure that modern production capabilities are in place and that overseas markets' food safety and traceability requirements are consistently met to reach the goal.

The meeting also focused on retaining long-term demand of Bangladeshi tiger shrimps by ensuring that the country’s aquaculture products are third-party certified as being responsibly produced.

It was decided that Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation and the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC would work together to retain and enhance the market share of Bangladeshi tiger shrimps in the USA.

The meeting was also attended, among others, by Bangladesh ambassador to the USA M. Shahidul Islam, senior adviser of McLarty Associates Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, senior director of Walmart Ms. Sarah Thorn, and other officers from commerce ministry and Bangladesh embassy.

Earlier, the commerce minister placed floral wreaths at the bust of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC.