Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Textile minister calls for a united force

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Dhaka, Economy, Export and Import, RMG and textile by Sherpa Hossainy on May 16, 2011

My second event coverage published in The Daily Independent on May 16, 2011.

Read the report on The Daily Independent website

Digital print edition

Minister for Textiles and Jute Abdul Latif Siddique  on Sunday urged the textile and garment entrepreneurs to unite under one umbrella to enjoy a better hand while bargaining with foreign buyers.

“The root of all problems is the lack of co-ordination among the entrepreneurs, who belong to different strata of society and have units with different production capacity,” Siddique said.

The minister was speaking as the chief guest at the launch of the ‘Better Work in Textiles and Garments (BWTG) component of the Better Work and Standards Programme’ (BEST) project of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon.

He urged Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Associations (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) to stop creating rifts and form a collective bargaining cell.

“All the bodies representing textile and garment sector should outline a joint bargaining unit to fix uniform prices for their productions. Rather than becoming self-centred we have to sacrifice for our country. Then we would not need discussions like these in small rooms,” the minister said.

The minister also advised to eliminate the internal market rivalry before competing internationally.  “We should resolve our own issues. We have to get rid of this internal divide and conflict.”

Currently, Bangladesh is the fourth largest garment exporter in the world and exports from textile and garment contribute to 82 per cent of the total exports. Exports in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (July’10 – March’11) were $13.2 billion. The sector also employs 5 million people of which 70 per cent are women.

Siddique also snubbed any sign of looming danger on the textile and garment industry and expressed hope that Bangladesh would become a major player in this sector globally within the next 10 years.  “We have to concentrate on technology. If we can become proficient in using information technology, we would be able to bargain and the industry will flourish.”

BWTG is a joint project of Ministry of Textiles and Jute and the Ministry of Commerce, funded by the European Union (EU) and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). It is focused on improving the effectiveness of the textile and garment sector in Bangladesh.

John T Smith, international coordinator of BWTG-BEST, Jean-Jacques Lauture, first counsellor and head of Good Governance, Human Rights and Economic Cooperation of European Commission, Ashraful Moqbul, secretary for Ministry of Textiles and Jute, Md Shafiul Islam, president of BGMEA, MA Zaher, vice-president of BTMA, AH Aslam Sunny, vice- president of BKMEA, and David Yuen-Hoi Lee, project manager, BWTG-BEST, UNIDO-Vienna, also spoke in the occasion.

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