Dhaka apparel summit 2014

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The first ever ‘Dhaka Apparel Summit 2014, was held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center on 7-9 December 2014. The summit was organized by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in collaboration with Brand Forum Bangladesh.

Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank congratulated BGMEA for setting the vision. “What we achieved in 35 year, BGMEA has set achieve double of it in next 7 years. So, it is very challenging. We should extend all our hands to fulfill the vision.

Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker, Bangladesh Parliament said that she believes that Bangladesh will not only reach the target of $ 50 billion of RMG export in 2021, rather exceed the target in term of RMG exports.“Let us achieve the target with positive promises to the women who are working in the sector”, the Speaker urged.

The 9th session of the Dhaka Apparel Summit titled “Social Impact – Can RMG Sector help Bangladesh to become a middle income country” was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka on 8 December.

This session focused on the role the apparel industry has been playing for the economic independence, social uplift and better livelihoods of Bangladeshi people. The progress toward women empowerment, poverty alleviation and human development indicators were discussed. How to establish a common understanding on how important the labor intensive apparel industry is for building the future of a country like Bangladesh, where population is abundant and the core asset of the country was also discussed.

Rachel Heath, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Washington said that she conducted a study on 1395 households in which she found that the RMG industry has been contributing in delayed marriage and child bearing, and decreased drop-out in Bangladesh.

Wilma B. Wallace, Vice President, Global Responsibility, Human Rights & Business, Gap Inc said that investment in women has multiplier impact on community, economy and country at large.

Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said that if we can continue the present trend of growth, our RMG export will be 60 billion by 2021. “By 2024 we want to graduate from LDCs. Garment sector can contribute greatly in this regard”, he added.

Melanne Verveer, Director, Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Georgetown University said that there have been tremendous development in last two decades. Poverty rate has decreased significantly which would have been not possible if there were not the industry. Women are at the core of the RMG industry. So, there need strong focus on the industry”, she added.

Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Advisor to the Chairperson, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said that the RMG industry is the sole of the country and the industry actually created the dream of becoming the middle-income country in the hearts of Bangladeshis.

Jean Lambert, Member of the Greens / EFA Group of MEPs & Chair of the European Parliament South Asia Delegation said that the engagement of women in the RMG industry of Bangladesh is extraordinarily positive.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said that there is no doubt that we will reach the target of $50 billion in 2021. May be we earn more, he added.

Within last 5-7 years tremendous development took place in Bangladesh. So, in 2021 everything will be double, the commerce minister opined.

Outcomes/Recommendations:

Political stability, democratic process

and good law and order is very important to become a middle-income country, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury opined.

Environmental friendly business, energy-efficient manufacturing and producing high yield products are recommended by Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank.

Rubana Huq, Managing Director, Mohammadi Group, moderated the session Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker, Bangladesh Parliament, Tofail Ahmed, Commerce Minister, Jean Lambert, Member of the Greens / EFA Group of MEPs & Chair of the European Parliament South Asia Delegation, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Advisor to the Chairperson, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Rachel Heath, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Washington, Seattle, Melanne Verveer, Director, Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Georgetown University, Md. Towhidur Rahman, President, Bangladesh Apparels Workers Federation –BAWF, and Wilma B. Wallace, Vice President, Global Responsibility, Human Rights & Business, Gap Inc. took part in the session as panel speakers.

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