Ambassador of Denmark to Bangladesh Christian Brix Møller on Sunday met BGMEA President Faruque Hassan at the BGMEA Complex in and discussed issues of mutual interest. Their discussions revolved around crucial issues related Bangladesh’s ready-made garments (RMG) industry, focusing on the current status, global market dynamics, challenges, and priorities for sustainable development. Sammilito Parishad accords warm reception to RMG entrepreneurs who elected MPs in 12th National elections The meeting also delved into the potential for enhanced collaboration between Denmark and Bangladesh, particularly in the areas of sustainability, circularity, and the integration of energy-efficient technologies within the garment industry. The meeting also touched upon the preparation of Bangladeshi RMG and textile companies for the upcoming EU Due Diligence, said the BGMEA. Sammilita Parishad starts election activities for BGMEA elections Faruque Hassan apprised Ambassador Christian Brix Møller of BGMEA’s strategic vision to elevate the RMG industry’s position in the global market through product diversification, innovation, efficiency improvement, and skill development, with a paramount focus on sustainability. He urged the Danish envoy to facilitate collaboration between BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) and leading Danish fashion institutes to enhance students’ knowledge and skills in key areas such as product and design development, along with the latest manufacturing technologies. BGMEA partners with Manabik Shahajya Sangstha to provide eye care services to garment workers The meeting was attended by Shams Mahmud, Chair, BGMEA Standing Committee on Foreign Mission Cell, Mohammed Kamal, Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on Trade Fair, and Sanjay Kumar Naha, Director, Rose Intimates Limited. Saadia Taufiq Sadi, Senior Trade Adviser, and Ali Asraf Khan, Supply Chain Specialist, from the Danish Embassy in Dhaka, were also present at the meeting.
Sammilito Parishad accords warm reception to RMG entrepreneurs who elected MPs in 12th National elections
The Sammilito Parishad accorded a grand reception to the garment entrepreneurs who have been elected the Members of Parliament during the 12th national elections, acknowledging their significant contributions to the country’s garment sector. The special event was hosted in the Grand Ballroom of Radisson Blu Water Garden in Dhaka on January 26. Sammilita Parishad starts election activities for BGMEA elections The Sammilito Parishad extended hearty congratulations to the elected MPs, recognizing their role in the growth and prosperity of the garment industry. The current state of the garment industry was discussed at the reception program, said a media release. Cooperation of the elected MPs was sought in building a sustainable garment industry in Bangladesh. BGMEA partners with Manabik Shahajya Sangstha to provide eye care services to garment workers The 18 entrepreneurs of the garment sector who have been elected Members of Parliament in the 12th National Elections of Bangladesh are -- Salman Fazlur Rahman MP, Vice Chairman, Beximco Group, Tipu Munshi MP, Managing Director of Sepal Group; A K M Salim Osman MP, Chairman, Wisdom Attires Ltd; Abdus Salam Murshedy MP, Managing Director, Envoy Group; Md Tazul Islam MP, Founder, Fabian Group; Nasrul Hamid MP, Managing Director, Hamid Group; Md. Shahriar Alam MP, Founder, Renaissance Group; Morshed Alam MP, Chairman, Bengal Group; AK Azad MP, Managing Director, Ha-Meem Group; Abdus Salam MP, Founder Chairman, Well Group; Anisul Islam Mahmud MP, Chairman, Shasha Denims; Chayan Islam MP, Chairman, Sparrow Group; Abdul Momin Mondol MP, Managing Director, Mondol Group; Fayzur Rahman (Badal) MP, Managing Director, Tusuka Group; Md. Khosru Chowdhury MP, Chairman, Nipa Group; Dewan Zahid Ahmed MP of Axis Knitwear Ltd; Md. Mojibor Rahman MP of Smart Group; and Md Abdul Wadud MP of A&A Fashion Sweaters Ltd. Tipu Munshi MP, President of Sammilito Parishad, chaired the event which attended by Md. Atiqul Islam, General Secretary of Sammilito Parishad and Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Md. Siddiqur Rahman, former President of BGMEA and also the Chief Election Coordinator of the Sammilito Parishad for the BGMEA Election 2024-2026. BGMEA, Helen Keller International to collaborate on providing eye health services to garment workers Former Presidents of BGMEA Redwan Ahmed, Mostafa Golam Quddus, Engineer Kutubuddin Ahmed, Quazi Moniruzzaman, S.M. Fazlul Hoque, Md. Shafiul islam Mohiuddin, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan, Senior Vice President of BGEMA and Panel Leader of Sammilito Parishad S. M. Mannan (Kochi) were also present at the event. A good number of RMG entrepreneurs also attended the event.
Gridlock was formed as vehicular movement on Dhaka-Tangail highway remained suspended for over an hour due to workers of garment factories demonstrating in Gazipur’s Konabari area, demanding payment of salaries as per the wages set by the government. Mohammad Ziaul Islam, officer-in-charge of Konabari Police Station, said workers of garment factories in the Konabari area took to the street around 8 am to press home their six-point demand including payment of salary as per the government-announced wage structure. Read: Focus on value addition in RMG industry needed more to enhance global competitiveness: BGMEA President The other demands include an eight-hour workday instead of ten hours. A long tailback has been created on both sides of the Dhaka-Tangail highway following the demonstration. However, vehicular movement normalised as police drove the demonstrating workers away from the highway after assuring them of taking steps regarding their demands. Read: Despite anticipated challenges in 2024, int’l market demand for RMG products could rise: BGMEA Director
Bangladesh has retained the status of the top exporter of garment items in the UK market in consideration of quantity in the period of January–October 2023. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) revealing the UK’s import data showed Bangladesh exported 178.39 million kilogrammes (kgs) of garment items to the UK while China shipped 159.25 million kg. In this regard, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan told UNB that considering the performance of the UK sourcing countries, China is at the top. It is followed by Bangladesh, Turkey, India, and Pakistan. Bangladesh had secured its position as the top garment supplier in Europe in terms of volume (quantity) in 2022. Milestone for RMG as Bangladesh becomes top source of Knitwear into EU market “Our position in the UK market remains the same because, in 2022, the UK's imports from Bangladesh exceeded imports from China, and this trend continues in the first 10 months of 2023,” he said. However, Bangladesh's share of the UK's total apparel imports is 23 percent in terms of value and 28 percent in terms of volume, said Faruque. “So far, we have been able to secure our position through potential cost savings, timely product delivery, and maintaining quality, which has kept us ahead of the competition in the fashion world,” said BGMEA President. Govt announces Tk 12,500 as minimum salary for RMG workers He said that the UK market still has opportunities as they approach the saturation point, and the global trade policy and competitive landscape will change over the coming decades. The key to capturing more global market share and sustaining growth will be to shift to higher-value products and higher-value markets by acquiring capabilities in backward and forward linkage industries. Bangladesh can add higher value by moving into the mid-high price segment of the market, where a T-shirt or a polo shirt can fetch higher FOB revenue only because of the complex process (e.g., advanced fabrication, embroidery, printing, even functionality), he said. Incidentally, it would also like to mention that, considering the average price of UK apparel imports, Bangladesh offers the lowest price compared to other competitors. “Our average price is 21.39 percent lower than China, 32 percent lower than Turkey, and even 26.75 percent lower than India. This not only proves that we are not competitive in the global market, but at the same time, our absence in the mid-high price segment of the market is starkly evident. At this point, we need to strategise to capture the mid-high price segment to take the industry forward,” said BGMEA President. Despite anticipated challenges in 2024, int’l market demand for RMG products could rise: BGMEA Director END/UNB/AI/MB/JA
Guardian article on female garment workers in Bangladesh not only offensive but also a gross overgeneralization: BGMEA Chief
A recent article published by The Guardian, framing the lives of female garment workers in Bangladesh between factory and brothel, is not only offensive but also a gross overgeneralization, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan has said. It risks overshadowing the remarkable transformation of women's empowerment propelled by the nation's RMG industry, he said in a statement, condemning the article that he said “defames women at work.” "It’s true that individual hardships exist, but framing women workers within a single struggle is potentially harming them by provoking radicalism, causing social stigma and mental illness," Faruque said. Such a narrative is a disservice to their lives and dreams they cherish, he said. “The report itself appears to be incorrect to us as it says that the mentioned female worker works for a large factory, it didn’t mention the name; and there is hardly any export-oriented garment factory located at the place as the report mentions, except for a few tailoring facilities catering to the local market only,” he said. “The report does not only perpetuate harmful stereotypes against women at work, but also defames an industry that employs millions of women and contributes significantly to national economy," said the BGMEA chief. Rest of the BGMEA chief's statement Consider this: in a moderate Muslim country, Bangladesh has emerged as a model in the region in women’s empowerment and gender parity, he said. “The World Economic Forum's recent Gender Gap Report places Bangladesh at the top in South Asia for gender equality for the 9th consecutive year, ranking the country 59th globally. “The labor force participation rate of women has soared from a mere 8% in 1983 to a remarkable 38% today. Read: Despite anticipated challenges in 2024, int’l market demand for RMG products could rise: BGMEA Director “Women’s contribution to Bangladesh's GDP growth is estimated at a staggering 34% and it continues to rise. “For millions of less privileged women having less literacy and skills, the RMG industry is the first formal sector of employment. “Through this industry, women have emerged as the critical support for their families, achieving economic independence and social empowerment. “Early marriage and motherhood are declining, primarily education enrolment is on the rise and as per many experts, the industry has led to increase in girls’ schooling. “Maternal and child health, too, have gained momentum, nourished by improved nutrition and a heightened awareness of healthcare. “The ascent isn't confined to the shop floor. Women are scaling the ranks, their talents are gracing technical departments in the industry like industrial engineering, product designing and merchandising, as well as taking on leadership positions. “When they leave the factories, they leave footprints of entrepreneurial spirit, transforming into owners of their own businesses. Read: Sustainable fashion: Bangladesh's RMG sector leads with 24 new LEED green factories in 2023 “This industry has become a launchpad for leadership. “While writing a report remotely, without having proper understanding of the background and reality, to deliberately portray the bleak picture, one must acknowledge the broader narrative – millions of women rising from poverty, gaining skills, and forging a path towards brighter futures for themselves and their families. “Beyond all these, the industry has taken an unprecedented stance to support aspiring women workers to pursue their dream for higher education. “Currently around 90 young female RMG workers are pursuing higher studies in the Asian University for Women under the Pathways for Promise program. “While the girls pursue their bachelor studies with full scholarship from the university, the employer factories continue to pay the full wages to them throughout the entire tenure of their study. “The ‘promise’ is to make them fearless and think big. Not only that, through this industry women have got the opportunity to emerge as the critical support to the family. “There are numerous instances that the sons and daughters of workers are pursuing higher education in engineering, medical science and many more disciplines through the humble support of the factories. “This is our story, one of transformation, of empowerment, of women rising like threads on a loom, weaving a new Bangladesh. Let us move beyond sensationalized headlines and acknowledge the multifaceted reality of women at work. Read more: Milestone for RMG as Bangladesh becomes top source of Knitwear into EU market “Let us celebrate their achievements, address their challenges, and work towards a future where all Bangladeshi women can thrive, in factories and beyond. “Our garment workers are the heartbeat of our industry, and I, for one, find my strength in their courage, their resilience, and their unwavering spirit. They are the threads that bind our nation together, the driving force propelling us towards a future where gender is not a barrier, but a bridge – a future where Bangladeshi women stand tall, not just as workers, but as architects of their own destinies.”
Despite anticipated challenges in 2024, int’l market demand for RMG products could rise: BGMEA Director
Despite the anticipated challenges in 2024, there are indications that international market demand for RMG products will rise, a director at BGMEA said today (January 01, 2024). "If we can uphold internal supply chains, increase investments in new products and markets, we will be able to sustain the desired growth," said BGMEA Director Mohiuddin Rubel in a statement. He said it is difficult to predict the trajectory for 2024, given the uncertainties in the international economic and geopolitical landscape. BGMEA chief emphasizes innovation, tech upgrade, skills training to retain global competitiveness Factors such as supply chain disruptions and inflation play a crucial role here. Additionally, there are pressures on the internal economy, including a decline in foreign exchange reserves and the significant challenge of keeping inflation in check, Rubel said. Furthermore, he said, the protection of industries is very important to attract investments and maintain competitiveness. The global scenario for the apparel sector in 2023 was not as good as 2022. According to the WTO, global apparel exports reached $576 billion in 2022. Rubel said, clothing imports from Europe and America have already decreased. Refrain from programmes which hamper country, economy: BGMEA President He said the two main markets for Bangladesh when assessed collectively were not able to put any remarkable impact to "our growth". On the other hand, Rubel said, RMG exports to non-traditional markets saw a substantial increase. In summary, he said, growth in non-traditional markets has contributed to the overall growth in Bangladesh’s RMG exports. Sustainable fashion: Bangladesh's RMG sector leads with 24 new LEED green factories in 2023
In 2023, Bangladesh's readymade garment (RMG) industry marked a significant stride in sustainable fashion, with 24 of its factories achieving LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the globally recognized green building rating system, underscores a commitment to environmental responsibility and energy efficiency. This recent certification brings Bangladesh's total to 206 LEED-certified green factories, a testament to the country's dedication to green initiatives within the garments sector, according to BGMEA Director Mohiuddin Rubel. The BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) reports a breakdown of these certifications, with 76 achieving the highest, platinum rating, and 116 receiving a gold rating. This progress is particularly notable in the context of the global apparel industry's increasing focus on sustainable practices. Also read: Bangladesh now boasts 206 LEED-certified green factories: BGMEA Of the 24 newly LEED-certified factories, a majority, 16, were awarded the prestigious platinum rating, while the remaining 8 achieved a gold rating. Standout performers in 2023 included S. M. Sourcing with 106 points and Green Textiles Limited Unit 4 scoring 104 points. Also noteworthy are Integra Dresses and Knit Asia Limited, both achieving 99 points, Lida Textile & Dying Limited with 97 points, and Liz Fashion Industry Limited scoring 96 points, as detailed by BGMEA. This achievement positions Bangladesh as a leader in the global sustainable fashion movement, with 54 out of the 100 LEED-certified green factories worldwide located in the country. This includes 9 of the top 10, and 18 of the top 20 LEED-certified factories globally, according to BGMEA data. Mohiuddin Rubel, director at BGMEA, highlights this as a potential catalyst for increased investment and partnership opportunities in the Bangladesh RMG industry. Also read: Milestone for RMG as Bangladesh becomes top source of Knitwear into EU market The geographic spread of these certifications within Bangladesh further illustrates the RMG industry's widespread commitment to sustainability. The majority of the 2023 certifications were in Gazipur (15 factories), followed by Dhaka (4), Chattogram (3), and Mymensingh (2). This regional distribution indicates a nationwide embrace of LEED principles in the Bangladesh garments sector. Currently, over 500 Bangladeshi factories are in the process of obtaining their LEED certification, signaling a robust and ongoing commitment to green practices in the Bangladesh RMG industry. This move towards sustainable fashion not only aligns with global environmental goals but also positions Bangladesh as a forward-thinking leader in the green manufacturing space. The significant increase in LEED-certified green factories within Bangladesh's RMG sector in 2023 is a clear indicator of the industry's commitment to sustainable fashion. With the Bangladesh garments industry taking proactive steps to achieve LEED ratings, it sets a benchmark for environmental stewardship and positions the country as a key player in the global push for more sustainable manufacturing practices. Also read: Environment-friendly factories, circular economy key to sustainable growth in RMG sector: Speakers
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Director Vidiya Amrit Khan has said recycling has always been a part of Bangladesh in a non-systematic and informal way as hand-me-downs or passed on to plastic handlers and fabric segregators. “We need detailed waste management policy at local, national and international level,” Vidiya Amrit said while speaking at a dialogue titled ‘Circularity, de-carbonization, and competitiveness in Bangladesh’s apparel sector’ held at a hotel in Dhaka on Tuesday night. Dr. M Masrur Reaz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Policy Exchange Bangladesh, moderated the dialogue. BGMEA President calls upon Carrefour to buy more high-value garments from Bangladesh LightCastle Partners, a prominent management consulting firm, and Policy Exchange Bangladesh, jointly organized the dialogue that highlighted a number of challenges such as the banks and financial institutions’ lack of meeting 5% ‘green loan’ target. Other challenges in the sector include attracting the right investments, financial problems for establishing solar factories, the inability of most organizations regarding repayment of loans, and not easy access to loans for small and medium-level organizations. About 84% of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from this sector. If a circular economy is adopted, Bangladesh may benefit economically, the speakers observed. While presenting for a deep dive workshop, Mrinmoy Sobhan, Business Consultant at LightCastle Partners, said that the use of garment products is expected to reach 102 billion items across the world by 2030. “It may increase the emission of greenhouse gases by up to 50%. Bangladesh’s apparel sector produces about 5.77 lakh tonnes of textile waste in a year. “ BGMEA president, Li and Fung chairman discuss collaboration for RMG industry’s development Md. Ariful Hoque, Director General of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), said recycled products also need to have enough competitive edge, otherwise consumers will not accept them, according to a media release. According to the latest report of BGMEA, there are over 200 industry-friendly apparel factories in the country. It is imperative to give attention to the issue of reuse of textile wastage for reducing carbon footprint. Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), Abdullah Hil Rakib, Managing Director of Team Group, Dr. Zaki Uz Zaman, Bangladesh Country Representative of the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO), Kazi Faisal Bin Seraj, Country Representative of the Asia Foundation, among others, spoke. On behalf of LightCastle Partners, its Co-founder and Director Zahedul Amin, Business Consultant Samiha Anwar, and other officials spoke. BGMEA, H&M Group discuss collaboration to further strengthen partnership with Bangladesh According to a report by Denmark-based Fashion Partnership Organization, 2019, Bangladesh exports 60% of its textile wastage annually. But Bangladesh can reduce its 15% demand of total cotton import by reusing its wastage cotton, said a media release. At the same time, the demand for water in its textile industry will increase threefold compared to its internal demand by 2030. Under the circumstances, it is imperative to ensure the growth of the circular economy for sustainable development in the apparel sector. While presenting the keynote paper at the dialogue, Faisal Rabbi, Stakeholder Engagement & Public Affairs Manager, H&M, said 60% of our GHG emission is coming from production countries, to achieve our net zero target by 2040 the GHG reduction must happen in production countries like Bangladesh. The Bangladesh government and the industry here need to align with the goals of fashion brands as they are not just goals set by the brands but a legal requirement for market access going forward.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Sunday alleged the government is destroying the readymade garments (RMG) sector in Bangladesh as part of a plot to shift the business to another country. Speaking at a virtual press briefing, he also slammed the government for letting loose law enforcers in suppressing a justified movement of the RMG workers and killing four labourers. BNP-Jamaat conducting arson attacks in the name of blockade: Hasan Mahmud "The government is very cleverly implementing a blue-print of destroying the garment industry, the country’s largest sector for earning foreign currency. She (Sheikh Hasina) wants to create famine again like in 1974, and wants to destroy the country's economy,” the BNP leader said. He also alleged that 150 garment factories were indefinitely shut on Saturday by the owners at the instigation of the government. The BNP leader bemoaned that police who attacked the RMG workers filed cases accusing 11,000 RMG workers of staging demonstrations for their justified demands. Govt can’t be ousted thru secret attacks: PM Hasina "People believe that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants a guarantee to stay in power illegally by shifting the RMG business to another country,” Rizvi said. He said not only the political leaders and workers of the opposition parties but also the professional garment workers are not safe in the hands of the current fascist regime. “Four garment workers have so far been killed by the police.” The BNP leader said the government has again started indulging in enforced disappearance by using the plainclothes police to suppress the opposition’s ongoing movement. Islami Andolon to bring out protest procession towards EC on polls schedule announcement day He said the members of the Detective Branch of police are moving around like 'Nazi forces' in microbuses covered with black glass and picking up the pro-democratic forces. “Even ordinary people are not spared. They in the name of RAB-Police are also picking up the relatives, including parents, sons, children, brothers and sisters, of the democratic forces, and making them disappear.” Rizvi called upon the law enforcers not to be opponents of the people who are carrying out a spontaneous movement to get back the right to vote. He claimed that more than 365 BNP leaders and activists were arrested in different parts of the country in the last 24 hours as of 5 pm on Sunday. The BNP leader claimed over 10,770 opposition leaders and followers have been arrested centring BNP’s Oct 28 grand rally and subsequent hartal and blockade programmes.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan on Sunday (November 12, 2023) said the owners of the RMG units can keep their factories closed under the law to protect industry and property until the vandalism is stopped and law enforcement agencies are able to ensure adequate security. “Every entrepreneur has a constitutional right to protect his own industry and properties from outsiders,” he told a media briefing at BGMEA office at Uttara. The BGMEA chief repeated that for the sake of the country and the industry, to protect the employment of the worker siblings, if the working brothers and sisters do not work in any factory, leave the factory without working, vandalize the factory, then the factory authorities can keep the factory closed under section 13 (1) of the Labor Act. Garment workers’ protest: 130 factories in Ashulia, Savar, Dhamrai closed Faruque said as there is currently less work in many factories in the garment sector, buyers have stopped placing new orders; they have asked to stop new recruitment. “New appointments will be made when the situation improves,” said the BGMEA president. Faruque urged the government of Bangladesh to identify those who are plotting against this industry and take action. RMG worker injured in clash with law enforcers dies at DMCH “Also give us adequate security to run industries. Politics and economics complement each other. Remittance earning from the expatriates is experiencing a slowdown at the moment. In this situation, the garment industry, one of the main sectors of export earnings, deserves special attention,” he said. The government on Tuesday announced Tk 12,500 as minimum wage for entry level RMG workers, raising it by 56.25% from the existing one. State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian announced the new wage structure for RMG workers which will be effective from December 1. RMG workers unions have rejected the offer and instead asked for an increase of nearly Tk 23,000 a month. Many workers resorted to street protests clashing with police and vandalizing factories. Owners have announced indefinite shutdown of over 130 factories mainly in Gazipur and Ashulia areas. Govt announces Tk 12,500 as minimum salary for RMG workers The unrest for higher wage has left one female worker dead in police firing, dozens injured and arrested. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Industrial Police Md Zakir Hossain Khan on Saturday said they smell a rat behind the unrest in the readymade garment (RMG) industry in Gazipur. "The government has already announced wages and our notion is that a group is instigating them [RMG workers] to do movement. We are identifying those who are provoking them [demonstrating workers]," he said. Police use tear gas shells as RMG workers protest in Gazipur