Tofail tells apparel & safety expo
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday said the country’s largest readymade garment (RMG) industrial park in Munshiganj is expected to be completed within next three years and similar parks would be set up in Chittagong.
The minister’s announcement came at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day long Bangladesh Apparel and Safety Exposition (BASEXPO-2015) that began at Hotel Radisson Blue Chittagong, according to BSS.
He said the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and China’s Orient International holding company have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up the RMG industrial park at a cost of US$ 2.3 billion at Gazaria in Munshiganj district.
“…the project is expected to be completed within next three years and similar industrial parks will be set up in Mirsarai and Anwara upazilas of Chittagong district”, he said.
The BGMEA arranged the exhibition to present the readymade garment sector of Bangladesh before the world and achieve the vision of US$ 50 billion export by 2021.
The commerce minister said the garment sector of Bangladesh, despite different pressing difficulties, has set up an example of safety reform, which can be a role model for other countries around the world.
“Out of 3,081 factories inspected by foreign and local experts, 3047 factories have been found safe to operate while only 34 units were found to be vulnerable”, he noted.
He said the G-7 multi-stakeholder conference held in Berlin in April last highly appreciated the progress achieved in the safety of the RMG industries in Bangladesh.
Terming Rana Plaza collapse an “unfortunate event” and an accident, the minister said Rana Plaza was not the real picture of the RMG sector of Bangladesh.
“The unfortunate incident has made the other RMG industries cautious while the government has a “Zero tolerance” on the question of the safety of the
factory workers”, he said adding “it is unfortunate that US has not reinstated our GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) facilities, though USAID and UKAID expressed satisfaction over the safety measures taken by our RMG factories since Rana Plaza collapse”.
Terming Bangladesh a ‘country of heroes’, he also expressed his hope that the country would be able to achieve its vision of US$ 50 billion export by 2021, the golden jubilee of Independence of Bangladesh.
Addressing the function, Chittagong city mayor AJM Nasir Uddin endorsed the demand of BGMEA to increase gas supply in different factories in Chittagong and he urged BGMEA to continue such laudable exposition.
The exposition is being attended by buyers, representatives from different international organisations, 74 reputed local and foreign companies of fabrics, knit, woven enterprises, garments machineries, labour representatives, educationists and media personalities.
Presided over by BGMEA president Md. Atiqul Islam, the function was addressed, among others, by Member of the European Parliament and chair of the European Parliament for Trade and Monitoring Group for South Asia Sajjad Karim, Ambassador & the head of delegation of the European to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh Benoit-Pierre LaraMee.
Apart from inaugural and concluding ceremonies, seminars on four separate topics-Branding Bangladesh, Training and Development Skills for Strong Sustainable and Balanced Growth, Financing Apparel Growth and Capacity Building of Port Customs, Power and Infrastructure to Reach Export Target to US $ 50 Billion in 2021 will also be held.