EXPERTS SHOW PATH TO ACHIEVE $50BN APPAREL EXPORT
‘To meet the export target, RMG sector needs lot of entrepreneurs, governance, education, workers efficiency, value-added products and above all Branding Bangladesh’
Experts at a discussion on apparel industry following inaguration of the Dhaka Apparel Summit 2014 at BICC in Dhaka yesterday
Speakers at a session of the country’s first Apparel Summit 2014 have made a series of recommendations, which include branding Bangladesh, for reaching US$50bn export target by 2021.
The other recommendations are enhancing workers’ productivity, developing infrastructure, ensuring good governance, education, and penetrating to high-end products.
The speakers came up with the recommendation at the first session styled “Bangladesh RMG 2021 – reaching $50bn on 50th anniversary of Bangladesh – A collaborative and coordinated approach” during the apparel summit being held in the city.
BGMEA President Md. Atiqul Islam moderated the session.
The session focused on devising a strategic action plan to overcome the existing challenges and realise the potentials to make the RMG sector sustainable and to reach the $50bn export target by 2021.
“To meet the export target, RMG sector needs lot of entrepreneurs, governance, education, workers efficiency, value-added products and above all Branding Bangladesh,” said Francois de Maricourt, chief executive officer of HSBC Limited, Bangladesh.
He noted that Bangladesh stands in second position in 25 countries in terms of trade confidence as per the latest HSBC Trade Confidence Index, which is very positive for the country.
Kihak Sung, founder chairman and chief executive officer of Youngone Corporation said: “Bangladesh can easily earn $50bn by 2021 if the workers’ efficiency is increased by 10% and the infrastructure is improved further.”
Achieving $50bn should not be the goal; rather profit and better life should be the main target. Efficiency is the key element of reaching the target. “I have increased the workers efficiency by 200% in the last seven years,” he said.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra Wajedul Islam Khan said, “It is very unfortunate when we discuss RMG sector, keeping the workers out of the scene, although both the workers and trade unions play an integrated role in this sector.”
“As opportunity for Bangladesh is growing and if the progress continues with the present pace, there is no question about reaching the export target of $50bn by Bangladesh,’’ said Rick Darling, executive director of Li and Fung.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said: “Comprehensive action plan has been undertaken by the government to provide all the facilities to the RMG sector, so the sector can be full-fledged compliant one within the next three years.”
Speaking on the impact of high bank interest rate, Mostafa Golam Quddus, former president of BGMEA said: “We are becoming less competitive due to high interest rates compared to our competitors.”
“Infrastructure, energy and education need to be ensured to achieve the target,” said Ellen O’Kane Tauscher, independent chair to board of directors of Alliance for Bangladesh Workers’ Safety
DECEMBER 08, 2014