BGMEA sets roadmap to make RMG units compliant in 3 years |
Yunus may miss Washington public hearing
Star Business Report
BGMEA, the country's apex trade body for the apparel sector, has set a roadmap to make the local garment units fully compliant within the next three years.
The roadmap will be implemented in association with Multi-stakeholder Forum Bangladesh (MFB), the Bangladesh chapter of MFA Forum.
The UK-based MFA Forum is an international organisation comprised of the buyers' representatives, stockholders, trade unions and NGOs. The newly formed MFB will work for the local garment industry.
Expressing their desire to make the ready made garments (RMG) units compliant under a unified code of conduct, which will be formulated through participation of all sides including buyer, sellers and workers, the leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said the buyers should come forward to increase the prices of Bangladeshi garment product to cope with the cost of being compliant.
They were exchanging views with journalists at the BGMEA office in Dhaka yesterday.
"We have started our work and some steps have already been taken to make the garment owners aware of the urgency of being compliant," said Faisal Samad, second vice-president of BGMEA, who represented the last MFA (Multi-Fibre Arrangement) Forum meeting held in Toronto last month.
"We are now on the process of implementing the venture of making local RMG units compliant," he said, adding that the roadmap has already been circulated among the units.
BGMEA President Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez said, "Under the MFB roadmap, we will make a drive so that the RMG units become compliant step by step in a span of three years. We hope we can make maximum units compliant within this stipulated time."
On formation of a unified code of conduct, he said, "Our local culture and behavioural pattern should be taken into consideration in this regard."
The BGMEA chief linked reaping more benefit from the global market to making all the RMG units fully compliant saying "if it were done, it would be very helpful."
Meanwhile, the US Senate Committee invited Nobel laureate Prof Yunus to participate in the public hearing in Washington for extending his support to attain Bangladesh's long-cherished demand for duty and quota-free access to the American market.
Yunus is scheduled to argue to pass the bill named Tariff Relief Assistance For Developing Economies Act of 2007 (TRADE Act of 2007).
If the bill is passed in the US parliament, Bangladesh along with other 13 LDCs will get duty- and quota- free access of its products to the US market.
The BGMEA president informed the journalists that the Nobel laureate might not take part in the hearing, if it is staged as per earlier schedule on May 16.
Dr Yunus is learnt to have informed the US Senate body about his inconvenience requesting the august body for rescheduling the hearing on May 14.
But the Nobel laureate's absence from the Washington hearing, Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez assured, would not have any negative impact. "So far I know, Dr Yunus may either remain present at the hearing or submit his written paper to the US Senate," he said.
The BGMEA leader, however, expressed his optimism about the passage of the TRADE bill due to participation of Dr Yunus in the process.
Data shows that the present average tariff rate of Bangladeshi apparels to the US market is 14 to 37 percent.