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The local ready-made garment (RMG) exporters yesterday urged foreign buyers to follow ethical buying practices to make Bangladesh more competitive in the global market.

The RMG manufacturers and exporters made the plea to the buyers at a two-day Multi-stakeholders Forum-Bangladesh (MFB), which began in Dhaka.

The seminar started with the slogan 'Building Responsible Competitiveness: Bangladesh in the Global Market Place'.

At a press conference after the first day's session, President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Fazlul Hoque, who is also the chair of the MFB, said the continuing cuts in garment making charges by international buyers is hitting profitability of entrepreneurs.

“We want increased prices from the buyers' end, not only for our profit, but also for the workers. If we can make profit the wages of the workers will also increase to an extent,” Hoque said.

Despite the increase in production costs of around 15 percent in the last year intense competition in the sector meant producers had been unable to pass the higher costs on to buyers, Hoque said.

Mentioning the export data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Hoque said in fact unit garment prices have fallen by between 1.5 percent in the past 12 months.

Paul Dearman, trading law and technical manager of Tesco, said the negotiation in sales deal should be very fair and transparent. He said nobody is dictating what the price should be.

Education Secretary of International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation Steve Grinter and Maritha Lorentzon from H & M among others were present at the press conference.

The meeting brings together public institutions, labour and civil society organisations and businesses.

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