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A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by IMF Mission Chief for Bangladesh, Rahul Anand, paid a courtesy visit to Faruque Hassan, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at the BGMEA Complex in Uttara, Dhaka on October 15.
Accompanying Anand were several key members of the IMF delegation, including Jayendu De, IMF Resident Representative to Bangladesh and Bhutan; Chris Papageorgiou, Division Chief; Ms. Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon, Deputy Division Chief; Ms. Estelle Xue Liu, Senior Economist; Mr. SeokHyun Yoon, Senior Economist; Suphachol Suphachalasai, Senior Economist; and Mr. Richard Varghese, Economist.
BGMEA Directors Asif Ashraf, Ms. Neela Hosna Ara, Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on Labour and ILO Affairs ANM Saifuddin and Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on Foreign Mission Cell Shams Mahmud were also present during the meeting.
The discussions during the meeting revolved around various topics related to the readymade garment industry of Bangladesh. These included the current status of the industry, the global trade situation, and its implications on the country's export performance.
The meeting also discussed the challenges and prospects that lie ahead for the RMG sector.
The issues concerning Bangladesh's graduation from the LDC status and its potential impact on the economy and trade also got due importance in their discussions where they emphasized the necessity for preparedness to address the challenges that may arise in the post-LDC era.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan provided the IMF delegation with insights into the Sustainability Strategic Vision 2030, which aims at fostering the growth of the RMG industry in a more sustainable way, keeping positive impacts on the economy, the environment, and the lives of the people of Bangladesh.
He highlighted the Bangladesh’s impressive strides in the area of environmental sustainability, including recycling and circular economy while keeping the efforts continued to pursue more excellence.
As part of the higher growth vision, Bangladesh’s RMG industry is actively focusing on diversifying its product range to include value-added items, particularly non-cotton products, he further noted.
The industry is also increasingly embracing innovations and technologies to boost productivity and efficiency, thus remaining competitive amid evolving global trade trends, Faruque Hassan further stated.
Additionally, a strong emphasis is being placed on skills development, including re-skilling and upskilling, to meet the growing demand for a skilled workforce.
The industry is exploring opportunities to tap into emerging markets and drive sustainable growth.
The BGMEA President urged the IMF to support the growth and development of Bangladesh's RMG industry, highlighting its pivotal role in the country's economic development and global trade.