New York (NY) based investment firm Tau Investment Management Inc., has announced the commitment to raise US$ 1 billion to help Bangladesh and other garment-manufacturing nations in order to construct factories with better safety and protection of workers.
According to a statement issued by Tau Investment Management Inc., the NY firm announced its commitment at the 9th Annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Meeting in September 2013, a four-day annual meeting, organized by former US President Bill Clinton’s foundation, that brings together sitting heads of state, business leaders, non-profit organizations and celebrities from around the globe to discuss the world’s most pressing problems.
Oliver Niedermaier, founder of Tau Investment, said that for millions of people in these countries, garment industry is the first step towards development and out of poverty, and the Rana Plaza incident of Bangladesh highlighted a broad social and economic failure.
The initiative titled ‘Sew True: Investing to Upgrade the Apparel Supply Chain’ would begin with revamping 25 Bangladesh garment factories with improvements in skill training and compensation improvement, and then would be undertaken in garment factories of Vietnam, China and Cambodia, he added.
According to Mr. Niedermaier, the firm saw an investment opportunity in fixing up old factories which could be profitable to socially-conscious investors, and it also wants to see updates made to old machinery and energy sources such as diesel generators.
Under the project, Tau Investment would draw on partnerships with apparel industry leaders, NGOs, and policymakers to address the sector’s top issues, including unsafe workplaces, forced and child labor, and environmental degradation.
At the 9th CGI Annual Meeting, members made over 160 new Commitments to Action, expected to impact nearly 22.2 million people and valued at more than US$ 10.8 billion.