A value-chain-based solution that encompasses manufacturers, retailers, brands, and social safety nets for garment workers can help the apparel sectors of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka attain sustainable recovery, experts said at a webinar. Titled ‘Recovery of the Apparel Sectors of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka’ the webnair highlighted the importance of a wide social safety net that commits to ensuring a living wage for RMG workers.
The webinar also heighted the findings of a joint study conducted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka (IPS). It was chaired by Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director, CPD and moderated by Professor Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow of CPD. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director, CPD, and Kithmina Hewage, Research Economist, IPS made the keynote presentation.
Experts urged Bangladesh manufacturers to tap into a potential $2 billion worth of orders diverted from China. They urged the governments of sourcing countries, as well as buyers and brands, to launch new social schemes for apparel workers. Experts also opined addressing medium-term challenges through national-level interventions alone would be difficult. Prof Rehman Sobhan, Chairman, CPD, urged ILO to play an entrepreneurial role in bringing together international buying countries with supplying countries to restructure global demand management.
Sobhan also called for tripartite exercises including government, employers, and workers to address not just the immediate impact of the COVID-19 but a longer-term crisis.