Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan and Vice-President Miran Ali met with Avedis Seferian, president and CEO of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), in the US and discussed ways of collaboration and market expansion.
Hong Mei, senior director of compliance assurance at WRAP, and Srishti Sharma, director of compliance administration, were also present at the meeting in Washington DC; Mark Jaeger, vice-president of stakeholder engagement, Aimee Dobrzeniecki, vice-president of administration, joined the discussion virtually.
The BGMEA president discussed matters related to the expansion of Bangladesh's business interests in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in North America.
Their talks also included ways of cooperation and future engagement between the BGMEA and WRAP for Bangladesh's apparel industry.
They also had discussions on how more cooperative and coordinated efforts can be made to facilitate WRAP certification for garment factories in Bangladesh and enhance the reputation of the country as a safe and compliant source of apparel sourcing in the world.
During the meeting, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan highlighted the progress of Bangladesh's garment industry in the areas of workplace safety, social and environmental sustainability.
The readymade garments (RMG) industry of Bangladesh has earned global recognition for its unprecedented strides over the years in safety, sustainability and social compliance, he said.
Also, Faruque sought cooperation and support from Avedis to portray the positive picture of the Bangladesh apparel industry internationally.
A recent survey report by Hong Kong-based supply chain compliance solutions provider, QIMA, ranked Bangladesh's garment industry second in "ethical manufacturing."
The report covered a wide range of compliance and ethical manufacturing issues, including hygiene, health and safety, waste management, worker representation, disciplinary practices and discrimination, working hours and wages.
Apart from ensuring workplace safety, Bangladesh also has the highest number of green garment factories in the world with 145 factories certified as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).