The Daily Star

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Friday, December 21, 2012

A significant call from opposition leader

We learnt from a report of this daily recently that leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia urged the garment factory owners, their trade body, the government, the financial institutions and the buyers in the closing ceremony of the Batexpo-2012 to ensure compliance at the factories to keep the sector competitive in the global market. She also added, “Not the machines, the workers behind the machines are the lifeline of the sector. Justice cannot be ensured without giving importance to their life, safety and better working conditions.” Her comments came in the wake of a deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions that killed at least 112 workers last month.

It is said that Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter after China, and earned $19 billion last year from garment exports that accounted for about 80 percent of the country's total export earnings. But Bangladesh's stake in the global apparel market is only 4 percent, whereas China controls 37 percent. According to McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, Bangladesh could bag about $45 billion in the next one decade.

It is undeniable that without ensuring safety and better working conditions for workers, it would not be possible for Bangladesh to grab this huge market. So we endorse the demand for BGMEA's self-regulation to prevent repetition of fire incident.

However, we thank Khaleda Zia for her significant call in this regard.

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