Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government is highly committed to ensuring compliance with regard to the readymade garment (RMG) industry.
“The contribution of apparel and textile industry to our economy is immense. We are highly committed to ensure compliance with regard to labour rights, workplace safety and environmental standard in the industry,” she said.
The premier also said Bangladesh’s readymade garment industry has achieved higher compliance standards in terms of wages, workplace safety, norms, practices and harmonious industrial relations.
“There has been a 77% increase in basic wage. Assessment of all the 3780 factories as recommended by global brands and retailers has been completed,” she said.
The prime minister said this while replying to questions at a workshop titled “Shaping a New Water Economy” in the 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum at Congress Centre here.
President and CEO of World Research Institute Andrew Steer moderated the workshop attended by heads of state and government of different countries participating in the WEF
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is the second largest Apparel and textile exporting country in the world. “The sector employs 4.5 million workers, of which 80 percent are women. The industry accounts for 83% of our total exports,” she said.
The premier said the factories are now working hand in hand with global brands and retailers to ensure international standards. Every factory has Occupational Safety Committee where employers and workers are working together, she said.
“We are supporting the industry to ‘go green’. Today, Bangladesh has LEED certified 38 factories. Out of the world’s top 10 ranked green factories, 7 are in Bangladesh.”
The prime minister said since 2015, Bangladesh Government has been working with 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG), more specifically, to achieve 100% wastewater treatment and increase water use efficiency as per international benchmarks in our apparel sector.
She said, “Our work with 2030 WRG” is focusing on the following areas:
— Mobilizing and facilitating large-scale finance for wastewater treatment infrastructure;
— Enhancing fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for wastewater treatment, recycling and efficient use;
— Establishing a valuation methodology for water use across Bangladesh;
— Improving institutional setup for water resources management
— Increasing private sector and civil society participation in water governance.
As a member of the High-Level Panel on Water, she said, she is committed to innovating frameworks like 2030 WRG.
The 2030 Water Resources Group was formed in 2008 to contribute new insights to the increasingly critical issue of water resource scarcity. Members include McKinsey & Company, the World Bank Group, and a consortium of business partners: The Barilla Group, The Coca Cola Company, Nestl, SA, New Holland Agriculture, SAB Miller PLC, Standard Chartered and Syngenta AG.