Rubana Huq, President, BGMEA says the association has adopted a safety protocol prepared in consultation with the International Labor Organization and the Director-General-Health, Bangladesh government. As per Huq, the government’s stimulus package will help the industry. At the same time, other steps that will help include apparel manufacturers die-hard engagements with buyers who canceled orders and get them back on negotiation table. This has resulted in 80 to 90 per cent of the $3.18 billion canceled work orders been reinstated.
Huq says, COVID-19 has unleashed many truths which were never uncovered, some of those are about the country’s internal deficiencies which need to be overwhelmed, and some of those are about how manufacturers deal with their shareholders with proper policy measures.
Also the industry has learned about several disadvantages like a lack of proper contractual protocols between buyers and suppliers, and we did not even have any backup to reply to an emergency crisis. This pandemic has also shown its overdependence on the garment sector and the need for immediate diversification. She suggested exploring new opportunities that COVID has opened up like the market for personal protective equipment and also how more funds can be drawn in Bangladesh, and how the industry can diversify its product basket.