Home Cover Story New Year Greetings 2022 | Faruque Hassan | Hello 22

New Year Greetings 2022 | Faruque Hassan | Hello 22

Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA-theincap
Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA

Over the past 40 years, the ready-made garment (RMG) industry of Bangladesh has come a long way facing numerous challenges. The unique resilience of the industry enabled us to be the second-largest apparel exporter in the world. Currently, “Made in Bangladesh” is being retailed with pride in 167 countries across the globe. 

Starting from the elimination of Child Labor in the mid-nineties, and the emerging priorities on social compliance and sustainability issues has led to a paradigm shift in the industry, especially in the area of workplace safety, well being of the workers and environmental sustainability. Today, Bangladesh is one of the safest and cleanest apparel manufacturing countries in the world, which offers the best sustainable solution to our valued clients.  

Our clothing factories are not only safer but also have become energy-efficient and environment- friendly. Bangladesh has by far the highest number of green garment factories in the world. US Green Building Council (USGBC) certified a total of 152 green factories of which 44 are Platinum rated, and 94 Gold rated. 40 out of the world’s top 100 garment factories are in Bangladesh. Moreover, 500 more factories are in the pipeline for certification. BGMEA joined the UN Fashion Industry Charter (UNFCCC) with an ambition to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2030. 

Besides, individual factories of this sector are doing so many CSR activities for the wellbeing of the workers and even for their families. Factories are now following practices like – daycare centers for workers’ children, healthcare centers with full-time doctors and nurses, and many other facilities. 

Needless to mention that the COVID has caused severe distress to the industry, yet our priority was to ensure health safety measures for the workers, save jobs and livelihoods, while saving the industry. 

Starting with 10,000 dollars of export, we reached 34 billion dollars in apparel exports. The full potential of the industry is yet to be realized as we only occupy 6.2% share in the global market. So we have a huge untapped opportunity ahead of us.   

As we are preparing for the next growth phase, we have set priorities to enhance our business capabilities, particularly in the area of diversification of our products and markets, investments in high-end textile sectors, especially non-cotton areas, innovation and value addition, and upgrading technologies. We envision the sector to be more diversified in terms of products, fiber, and markets. In the era of 4IR, many modern technologies are coming. To make these technologies useful, we need to focus on the technology adaptation and skills development of the workers and mid-level employees. Keeping in mind the importance of this timely demand, BGMEA is going to set up the “Centre for Innovation, Efficiency, and OSH” to train mid-level employees of the RMG industry.  

Our priority will be to keep the momentum we have gained to make the industry sustainable. As Bangladesh graduates from LDC, our focus will be to create further opportunities by in untapped and innovative areas within the industry, as well as to go for import substitution and diversifying export sectors. 

Thanks to International Corporate Association of Professionals (InCAP), The InCAP, and their team for their outstanding initiatives.

Happy New Year!

Faruque Hassan

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