BGMEA president seeks WB support for RMG industry's development

BGMEA president Faruque Hassan adresses the iftar mahfilUNB

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Faruque Hassan on Monday sought the support of the World Bank for the RMG industry in the areas of sustainability, skills development, technological upgradation and innovations, reports BSS.

He also urged the World Bank for supporting the SMEs with low-cost finance so that they could upgrade their capability and adopt sustainability practices, and thus could thrive in the competitive market.

Faruque made the request when a high-level delegation of the World Bank, led by Axel van Trotsenburg, managing director of Operations, called on BGMEA President Faruque Hassan at BGMEA Complex at Uttara in the capital Monday.

The delegation included Martin Raiser, vice-president, South Asia Region, Abdoulaye Seck, country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan; Dandan Chen, operations manager for Bangladesh and Bhutan; Yutaka Yoshino, lead economist, Martin Holtmann, country manager, IFC Bangladesh; Elena Karaban, manager, external communication; Barbara Weber, senior operation officer, country director's office; and Mehrin Mahbub, senior external affairs officer.

The present state of affairs in Bangladesh's RMG industry including its challenges, potentials and the industry's vision were discussed in the meeting, said a press release.

They 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 appraised the World Bank delegation about the future priories of Bangladesh's RMG industry, including increased focus on moving up the value chain through innovation, product diversification, technology upgradation, and up-skilling and re-skilling 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.

He spotlighted the importance of financing SMEs to support their development and as they often cannot avail regular financing schemes due to stringent due diligence.

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 were also present at the meeting.