BGMEA holds apparel summit in Australia to boost RMG export

This file photo shows workers working at an apparel factory.
Prothom Alo

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) organised an apparel summit in Melbourne, Australia aimed at increasing the export of readymade garments to the country’s market.

This is the first apparel summit by the BGMEA outside the country.

A total of 130 participants from diverse range of stakeholders, including buyers, retailers, suppliers, consumers, development partners, and supportive Australian government policymakers came together at the summit, who was organised in collaboration with the HSBC Bank and the High Commission of Bangladesh to Australia.

This was learned from a press release of the BGMEA and after speaking to the BGMEA leaders who took part in the summit.

Earnings of RMG export to Australia crossed the $1-billion mark for the first time in 2022-23 fiscal with export reaching $1.16 billion at the end of that fiscal. RMG export to the country was $810 million in 2021-22 fiscal.

BGMEA president Faruque Hassan highlighted the overall situation of the RMG industry in Bangladesh, in particular, workplace environment development, environment-friendly industrialisation and various initiatives for the welfare of workers.

He said, “Currently, apparel costing around USD 100 is being produced in Bangladesh, but the country is transforming to producing high-end apparel.”

Kmart Group managing director Ian Bailey praised the transformation of the Bangladesh’s apparel industry to a social and environment-friendly industrialisation.

HSBC Bank Australia chief executive officer Antony Shaw also lauded the progress of Bangladesh in industry and infrastructure.

Matt Fregon, MP, Deputy Speaker of Victoria legislative and Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment David Southwick MP of Victoria also attended the sessions in the Summit.

BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim, director Asif Ashraf, Sparrow Group managing director Shovon Islam, Shasha Denims managing director Shams Mahmood, Australian Fashion Council CEO Leila Naja Hibri, Oxfam Australia CEO Lynn Morgen, HSBC Bangladesh CEO Mahbubur Rahman also spoke at the event.

There were a special photo exhibition on the tradition and nature of Bangladesh and a show on the latest apparels manufactured in Bangladesh at the summit.

The event was followed by a dinner where guests were severed the foods cooked MasterChef Australia second runner-up Kishwar Chowdhury.