Diversify products, expand export market: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked all concerned to expand Bangladesh's export market with diversified products in the world market and thus boost export earnings.

"We've to diversify our products and expand our market for boosting our export earnings alongside learning how to add value to products and increase the RMG share," she said.

The prime minister said this while inaugurating the second edition of 'Dhaka Apparel Summit 2017' at a city hotel in the capital.

The summit is aimed at opening dialogue on framing strategies to secure a more sustainable apparel supply chain from local and global perspectives to achieve the target of earning USD 50 billion from RMG sector marking the country's Golden Jubilee of Independence.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in collaboration with Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) organised the event.

The prime minister pointed that the list of export items of the country is not that much long as it is heavily RMG dependent one, while Bangladeshis products' export destinations are also limited.

Sheikh Hasina urged the exporters to take necessary initiatives in this regard as the government is ready to extend all-out support to boost the export.

About the government's initiative to improve the working atmosphere in the RMG sector, she said a number of measures have been taken at international level to make the RMG sector safe. Under the initiative, 3,869 factories have been inspected.

"Among those, faults have been found in only 39 factories and they were shut down, and the remaining factories are being renovated to improve their safety," she said.

But, she said, huge funds are needed for overhauling these factories. "Various brands and buyers can come forward to assist the factory owners, and the government will provide its support."

Hasina mentioned that the Readymade Garments of Bangladesh is now a role model in the world. The BGMEA, the government, domestic and international organisations and development partners--all together are working towards building a safe and sustainable RMG sector, she added.

"We've been working to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021. The RMG sector can play a vital role to achieve the goal."

The prime minister said although Bangladesh stands at the second position in the RMG export market, its share is only 5.1 percent in the sector. "We've to work on how to increase our share in the world market. We've to formulate short-, medium- and long-term plan in this regard."

The inaugural session was addressed, among others, by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Labour and Employment Ministry Mujibur Huq, the EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon, BGMEA President Siddiqu Rahman and BGMEA First Vice President Mainuddin Ahmed.

The Dhaka Apparel Summit is a prime event on textile and apparel industry in Bangladesh that brings together some of the world's leading experts in their respective fields to share their experiences and visionary thoughts on issues pertaining to the apparel industry and ways in which the business can realize sustainable growth well into the 21st Century.

The Summit will feature three panel discussion sessions, offering an open and inter-active environment, and allowing full audience participation and the opportunity for a valid exchange of ideas.

The seminars will be attended by representatives of the government, international organisations, economists, brand representatives, development organisations, employers, workers' representatives, civil society members, academics, and media from home and abroad.

source: UNB