Bangladesh’s export-oriented apparel manufacturers have sought policy support from the government to help overcome omicron-induced challenges, and retain the readymade garment sector’s upward momentum of recovery.
Making the call at an event titled “Glorious 50 years of Bangladesh and 40 years of BGMEA” in Dhaka’s Sheraton Hotel on Tuesday, industry leaders said after initially being labeled as a “basket case,” Bangladesh’s development has now surprised the world, which is a matter of national price.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) also unveiled a special edition of its magazine “The Apparel Story” at the event, commemorating the anniversaries of Bangladesh and the association.
Former president of BGMEA Md Siddiqur Rahman said, “The industry makes significant contributions to the country’s economy. We have brought the industry at its current level through labour and investment.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has deeply affected this industry and we are on the way to recovery. At the moment, the Omicron variant is becoming a challenge for this sector, and we need policy support to overcome such challenges successfully.”
Calling for the mitigation of hassle caused by the National Board of Revenue, Siddiqur said sixty per cent of the existing issues will be resolved if the bureau manages to provide hassle-free services.
Addressing the event, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, “If industry insiders submit formal complaints, we will address any issues found in this sector.”
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan presided over the event, while the association’s directors Barrister Shehrin Salam Oishee and Md Mohiuddin Rubel moderated the programme.
Faruque Hassan said, “Bangladesh has transitioned from one of the poorest counties to one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the last 50 years.
“The country has emerged as a model of development in the world under the prudent and visionary leadership of Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.”
He added, “The RMG industry has made significant contributions to the socio-economic transformation of Bangladesh over the past few decades, and would continue to play the pivotal role in realising the vision of a more prosperous Bangladesh.”
Md Atiqul Islam, the mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and also a former president of the BGMEA, joined the grand celebration. BGMEA’s former presidents Redwan Ahmed, Mostafa Golam Quddus, Quazi Moniruzzaman, Tipu Munshi, SM Fazlul Hoque, Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury (Parvez), and Abdus Salam Murshedy were also there.
BGMEA vice presidents and directors, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh ITO Naoki, Executive Director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) Dr Ahsan H Mansur and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bangladesh Mahbub ur Rahman were present at the programme as well.