RMG sector can hit $50bn export, Apparel Summit told

RMG sector can hit $50bn export, Apparel Summit told

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Required infrastructure development, enhancing the efficiency of workers and adequate support from the government can help Bangladesh’s RMG sector hit a US$ 50-billion export by 2021, speakers said here on Sunday.
Stakeholders of the country’s readymade garment industry came up with the observation at a discussion, ‘Bangladesh RMG 2021- Reaching $50 Billion on 50th Anniversary of Bangladesh – A collaborative and Coordinated Approach’, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Chair, Board of Directors, Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (AFBWS) Ellen O’Kane Tauscher, former BGMEA president Mostafa Golam Quddus, Executive Director, Government and Public Affairs,  Li & Fung (Trading) Ltd Rick Darling, founder Chairman & CEO, Youngone Corporation Kihak Sung, Professor, Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka Dr Syed Ferhat Anwar, Country Manager, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, IFC Kyle Kelhofer, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Limited, Bangladesh Francois de Maricourt and General Secretary, Bangladesh trade Union Kendra Dr Wajedul Islam Khan were present at the session as panel discussants. BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam moderated the session.
Tofail Ahmed appreciated Bangladesh’s growth despite having various challenges and called upon all to work jointly for further growth of the sector.
“The opportunity for Bangladesh is growing. If the progress continues at the pace it was over the last 18 months, then there’s no question that Bangladesh will reach the target of $50 billion,” said Rick Darling.
The session focused on devising a strategic action plan to overcome the existing challenges and tap the potentials.
It covered business and investment trend, global sourcing dynamics and potentials for Bangladesh, prior issues to support the growth potentials, like infrastructure, ports, SEZs, power, gas, human resources development, compliance issues, prudent commercial diplomacy and political stability; supportive policies and coordination between different government agencies, product and market diversification.
Earlier in the day Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first-ever ‘Dhaka Apparel Summit-2014’, organised by Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city.
The three-day ‘Dhaka Apparel Summit’ will showcase Bangladesh’s progress in the vital readymade garment sector and work out a plan to reach US$ 50-billion export landmark by 2021, the golden jubilee of the country’s independence.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked all concerned, including the owners of garment factories and consumers, workers and foreign buyers, to remain alert against conspirators, both at home and abroad, trying to destroy the country’s highly potential RMG sector
“Bangladesh is the world’s second largest RMG exporters.  Some quarters, perhaps, do not like this… so they’re engaged in conspiracies against this sector. I’m urging the owners, workers, foreign buyers and consumers to stay alert against local as well as foreign conspirators,” she said.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated the ‘Centre of Excellence for Bangladesh Apparel Industry and International Trade Expo for Building and Fire Safety 2014’.
BGMEA is hosting the event, replacing its annual show, BATEXPO, which is expected to help Bangladesh send out an impressive message to its partners in the global apparel market.
Currently, the apparel demand in the global market is about US$ 450 billion which will hit US$ 650 billion by 2021. Bangladesh needs 8 percent share of the total global apparel demand by 2021 as against the country’s current share of 5 percent.
Assuring of all-out cooperation to the RMG exporters, the Prime Minister said her government has undertaken a number of measures to expand markets for RMG products, and urged them to fully utilise the huge facilities provided by the government to further explore opportunities for the sector.
She said the BGMEA has been given the authority to issue certificate of origin while BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology has been set up.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam, CEO of HSBC Bank, Bangladesh Francois de Maricourt, Parliamentary State Secretary of German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development Hans-Joachim Fuchtel,  Chairperson of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia, Jean Lambert, and Chairperson of the Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety Ellen Tauscher also spoke on the occasion. BGMEA’s first vice president Nasiruddin Chowdhury gave the welcome address.
At the function, a number of children who lost their parents at the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar presented a special show while a documentary, titled ‘A tale of a Dream’ was screened.
Nine seminars related to RMG industry are being organised during the Summit in which experts from home and abroad will take part. – UNB

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