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Evil forces conspiring against RMG sector

BGMEA leaders tell seminar

BGMEA first vice president Moinuddin Ahmed Minto at a seminar has alleged that evil forces are conspiring against the ready-made garment (RMG) sector. The activities of these evil forces spell imminent trouble for the industry, he said, and urged all concerned to play a very positive role in protecting the RMG export sector from ‘imminent disaster’. “Even the banks are not doing enough to protect the RMG sector,” he said while addressing the seminar on Introduction to the CPD-RMG study titled “New Dynamics in Bangladesh RMG Sector: Restructuring, Upgradation and Compliance”. The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in association with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organised the seminar at the conference room of the BGMEA Chittagong regional office at Khulsi in the city on Monday night. Chaired by CPD Distinguished Fellow Prof Mustafizur Rahman, the seminar was addressed by BGMEA incumbent and former leaders and attended by owners of the garment factories in Chittagong. CPD research director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem presented a keynote paper. Mr Minto said the government and the RMG industries have urged the banks to sanction loan at single-digit interest rates, but they are still charging interest rates at double-digit. “This is nothing but harassment of the industry that alone dominates the export earning sector of the national economy.” He said China dominates the global RMG export market with 39 per cent while Bangladesh exports only 6 per cent. But research shows that China will be contributing 20 per cent to the global RMG export market and losing the rest 19 per cent by 2021 due to hike of the workers’ wages. “This may give us a good opportunity which we should exploit to the full to our advantage by capturing the world RMG market. We will have to diversify and upgrade value addition to the products in design and fashion,” he added. Detailing the problems being faced by the RMG sector in Bangladesh, he said due to stringent compliant issues raised by the Accord and Alliance following the Rana Plaza disaster, some 1,250 garment factories including 336 in Chittagong have been closed. Within next two months, he said, the upcoming tripartite inspection to be launched jointly by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Bangladesh Government and BGMEA will lead to probable closure of half of the total 1,549 garment factories in Bangladesh. The BGMEA leader said the target set for 50 billion US dollar worth annual RMG export earnings by 2021 on the 50th year of independence of Bangladesh could be achieved only if they can prepare themselves for wholesome restricting against the backdrop of the ever-changing global market. He said the current RMG world market is worth US$ 445 billion and this will increase to US$ 650 billion by 2021.


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