Price of apparel products should be increased considering huge investment made by apparel manufacturers that helped improved safety measures and working environment.
Figure: Price of apparel products should be increased considering huge investment made by apparel manufacturers to improved safety measures and working environment.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed demanded it while delivering his speech at the fourth high-level follow-up meeting of the Sustainability Compact entitled “Five Years after the Launch of the Sustainability Compact: Taking Stock and Staying Engaged” held on 25 June 2018 in Brussels at Albert Borschette Conference Centre. At the event, progress made under the Compact as well as what remains to be done were discussed.
The Sustainability Compact aims at bringing lasting improvements on labor rights and factory safety in the ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh. Since its establishment, the Compact partners have actively engaged to address labor, health and safety issues and to encourage responsible business conduct by all stakeholders engaged in the ready-made garment (RMG) and knitwear industry in Bangladesh. As part of this process, regular follow-up meetings have taken place.
In response to the tragic incident of Rana Plaza in April 2013, the European Union, the United States, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Government of Bangladesh signed the “Compact for Continuous Improvements in Labor Rights and Factory Safety in the Ready-Made Garment and Knitwear Industry in Bangladesh”. The Government of Canada subsequently joined in January 2016.
The Compact is built on short and long-term commitments related to three inter-linked pillars: respect for labor rights; structural integrity of buildings and occupational safety and health; and responsible business conduct.
Within the framework of the Compact, the ILO has undertaken to support and monitor implementation of a number of specific commitments made by the parties.
Bangladesh has reported significant development achieved in the fields of workplace safety and compliance across its factories at the meeting. Minister Tofail said Bangladesh government has amended its Labour Law and the workers are enjoying their rights better than any time in the past.
He said Bangladesh has taken preparation to avail of GSP plus benefit as Bangladesh is marching ahead towards a developed country.
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and South Asia Trade Monitoring Committee within the European Parliament Sajjad Karim said that Bangladesh needs to deliver on its Sustainability Compact commitments or risk advancement in its trade status.
Dr. Karim reminded it Tofail Ahmed during a meeting of the South Asia Trade Monitoring Committee within the European Parliament on 26 June. He uttered his concern that the Bangladesh government needs to make more progress on its compact obligations.
Graduation from the Everything but Arms (EBA) trade status to the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) was not to be taken for granted, he added.
State Minister for Labor M Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President M Siddiqur Rahman and Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) Executive Chairman Major General Mohd Habibur Rahman Khan, among others, were present at the fourth high-level follow-up meeting.