Global buyers of readymade garments (RMG) are now positive about Bangladesh, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the visiting Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, Mr. Ahmed said many countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Japan are showing keen interest in doing business with Bangladesh, particularly in the RMG sector, which is good news.
He said the globally RMG buyers have started rethinking of Bangladesh because of the progress made in the garment sector over the past one year. He added that the negative picture created among owners of international brands and retailers following the Rana Plaza collapse last year has now started changing.
Ms. Ploumen agreed that many initiatives were taken by the Bangladesh Government in the last one year, but she stressed that those would have to be sustainable.
She said all export-oriented garment manufacturing units across Bangladesh must be inspected and the public database on apparel units should be made more transparent and with more details. She urged the Bangladesh Government to quickly complete the task of recruiting 200 factory inspectors.
Mr. Ahmed said around 1,500 garment factories have already been inspected and only 19 of these have been referred to a review panel, which shows that the number is below the global average of 2 percent.
He informed that the Government has already removed tariffs on the import of fire and structural safety equipment. He added that the Government has so far recruited 25 factory inspectors and it is working on a priority basis to employ the remaining inspectors.
Earlier, Bangladesh and the Netherlands issued a joint statement in which both the countries agreed to work together towards realization of a safer, sustainable and more-efficient apparel sector in Bangladesh.