- Why Bangladesh
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BGMEA President Faruque Hassan and Vice President Miran Ali met with Stephen Lamar, President and CEO of The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) in Washington on September 9.
High officials of AAFA and other organizations were also present at the meeting.
They had discussions on various issues including how to enhance cooperation between BGMEA and AAFA to deepen mutual business engagement and explore areas of further collaboration.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan highlighted the unprecedented strides made by Bangladesh's RMG industry over the years in safety, sustainability and social compliance, which have earned the sector global recognitions.
A recent survey report by Hong Kong-based supply chain compliance solutions provider, QIMA, ranked Bangladesh’s garment industry second in “Ethical Manufacturing”. Apart from ensuring workplace safety, Bangladesh is the home of the highest number of green garment factories in the world.
He urged the American Apparel and Footwear Association to promote Bangladesh as the safe and sustainable apparel-sourcing destination among its members and encourage them to source more garments including non-cotton items from the country.
He highlighted the future prospects of the industry and stressed the importance of industry up-grading particularly in the areas of skills and efficiency enhancement, technological upgrading, and diversification of products, especially non-cotton.
Faruque Hassan welcomed investments from AAFA members in these areas, particularly in non-cotton and technical textiles and high-end apparel items.
He urged US brands and buyers to collaborate with their suppliers to build their capacities in manufacturing those apparel items which have demand in the US market. Diversification of products is very important to ensure sustained growth of Bangladesh’s apparel industry.
The BGMEA President also talked about how Bangladesh’s RMG industry has been able to turn around by addressing unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also pointed out that production costs have increased while price has witnessed fall in the US market. He urged for justified prices and sought the support of AAFA and their members to be more empathetic towards their supply chain partners to make the supply chain sustainable.