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Global Buyers must behave responsibly: BGMEA

Bangladeshi apparel exporters have urged global buyers to show responsible business behaviour in line with ethical business practice to ensure a sustainable ready made garment sector in the country.

“Responsible business conduct was one of the key requirements of the Sustainability Compact but have noticed that the price of products are decreasing gradually in the EU and US markets in recent time,’ Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Siddiqur Rahman said at a media briefing in Dhaka. Rahman requested the buyers to take initiative for ensuring responsible business conduct pointing out that the cost of doing business had increased in the factories as owners had invested on an average Tk. 5 crore for remediation. He also requested the buyers for fair prices of products.

At the briefing on the progress in improving workplace safety and labour rights in line with the Sustainability Compact, RMG sector leaders said following the Rana Plaza tragedy in April 2013, the garment sector achieved a significant progress in terms of workplace safety and workers’ rights.

Rahman said the RMG sector has made significant improvement and claimed that Bangladesh was the safest place in the world for producing garment products. BGMEA has provided thousands of workers with fire safety training and taken effective initiative to stop unauthorized subcontracting, he said. Most of the requirements of the Sustainability Compact had been fulfilled but the safety inspection and factory upgradation were a continuous process.

As much as 80 per cent remediation works in the factories which are the suppliers of EU and North American buyers have been completed and the rest of the work will be completed by 2018 as per the agreement with the buyers’ platforms, Rahman said.

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