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Bangladesh apparel makers seek policy support in next Budget

The Bangladeshi apparel makers expected that the upcoming FY 2016-17 Budget would be investment-friendly and people-oriented that would help create employment for all levels of workforce, both skilled and unskilled. According to them about 2 million jobseekers are coming to the market every year. Out of that, only six lakh are getting jobs, though CPD research claimed seven lakh are being provided with jobs each year.

The country’s RMG industry has now got a new journey following the remediation of the factory buildings as per the recommendations of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety – the two platforms of North American and European retailers and brands. The government also conducted the same task in bringing improvement at the work places.

According to RMG leaders, the remediation process is going on at factories, and they need huge investment to be compliant. Each factory requires up to Tk 1 crore to Tk 5 crore as additional investment for remediation. At the same time, the apparel makers are investing in setting up green factories, and so far 29 have been certified as green factories, while 130 are registered with USGBC for establishing green factories, observed Md Siddiqur Rahman, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

The BGMEA president said that a total of 618 RMG units have been closed, while another 319 are at the edge of closure for losing competitiveness and other challenges, talking on present condition of the apparel sector.