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BGMEA seeks World Bank support for apparel sector

  • Special Correspondent
  • 24 January, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
BGMEA seeks World Bank support for apparel sector
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan poses for a photo with the visiting high-level delegation of the World Bank led by Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations, at BGMEA Complex at Uttara in the capital on Monday.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan sought the World Bank’s support in development of the country's readymade garment industry.

He made the call while a high-level delegation of the World Bank led by Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations, called on him at the BGMEA Complex in Uttara, Dhaka on Monday.

The delegation included Martin Raiser, Vice President, World Bank South Asia Region, AbdoulayeSeck, Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan; Dandan Chen, Operations Manager for Bangladesh and Bhutan; Yutaka Yoshino, Lead Economist/Program Leader, and Martin Holtmann, Country Manager, IFC Bangladesh.

It also comprised Elena Karaban, Manager, External Communication; Barbara Weber, Senior Operation Officer, Country Director’s Office; Mehrin Mahbub, Senior External Affairs Officer; Kimberly Versak, Senior External Affairs Officer; Ewa Sobczynska, Senior Operations Officer, Vice President’s Office; Hosna Ferdous Sumi, Private Sector Specialist, TTL Export Competitive for Jobs Project, and Suhail Kassim, Senior Economist.

The meeting discussed the present state of affairs in Bangladesh’s RMG industry including its challenges, potentials and the industry’s vision.

The officials also had discussions on the possible impacts of Bangladesh’s LDC graduation particularly on the apparel sector and preparations to retain the industry’s competitiveness in the post-LDC era.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan apprised the World Bank delegation about the future priorities of Bangladesh’s RMG industry, including increased focus on moving up the value chain through innovation, product diversification, technology upgradation, and up-killing and reskilling of the workforce to remain sustainable and cost competitive.

He also highlighted the tangible transformation of the RMG industry in the areas of workplace safety, environmental sustainability and workers’ wellbeing.

Hassan highlighted the importance of financing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to support their development and as they often cannot avail regular financing schemes due to stringent due diligence.             He called on the World Bank for supporting the SMEs with low-cost finance so that they could upgrade their capability and adopt sustainability practices, and could thrive in the competitive market.

The BGMEA chief also sought the support of the World Bank for the RMG industry in the areas of sustainability, skills development, technological upgradation, and innovations.

The meeting was also attended, among others, by BGMEA directors Abdullah Hil Rakib, Neela Hosna Ara, Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on Foreign Mission Cell Shams Mahmud and Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on UD-Woven & Knit Md. Nurul Islam.