POST TIME: 16 February, 2017 11:42:36 PM
Dhaka apparel summit to spotlight sustainable growth
Kaniz Fatima

Dhaka apparel summit to spotlight sustainable growth

Bangladesh is set to host an international apparel summit later this month against the backdrop of a target of USD 50 billion worth of exports by 2021, which will aim to initiate a dialogue on strategies to secure more sustainable development in the readymade garments (RMG) industry.
The primary focus of ‘Dhaka Apparel Summit 2017’ will be on the apparel industry’s recent transformation and include suggestions to chalk out sustainable growth, organisers said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the summit on February 25 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is organising the summit, in collaboration with the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE).
“We’ve come out of our image crises. So far, 70 per cent of the remediation works under the Accord and 63 per cent under the Alliance have been completed, and other remediation works will be completed soon. We now need to think how to go forward to achieve the expected target and what to do for this,” BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman told The Independent yesterday. “We now need sustainable growth in the sector,” he added.
“The event’s underlying goal is to serve as a platform to establish greater interaction and collaboration among stakeholders from home and abroad with a common goal of ensuring sustainable growth within the country’s RMG industry,” said Siddiqur Rahman.
The first Dhaka Apparel Summit was held last year, with the slogan ‘Bangladesh RMG 2021: USD 50 billion on the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’. The summit’s second edition will feature discussions targeted at establishing a more sustainable apparel supply chain with the specific aim of creating a better future together.
On the target of USD 50 billion worth of exports by 2021, Rahman said: “The industry is facing some problems due to Brexit, fall in euro prices, war in Syria and some other countries. The world economy is slowing down now and we’re facing problems as our business is linked to the global economy. Following the setbacks, we didn’t see the significant export growth required to achieve the USD 50-billion growth target,” the BGMEA president added.
Rahman, however, hoped the problems will go away and the country will see higher export growth in future in the RMG sector.
He added: “To achieve the USD 50-billion export target by 2021, we need to increase the capacity of the ports and set up new equipment for the ports. The government needs to think about the price of the dollar as its rate has devalued significantly in Bangladesh.”
About the summit, he said as Bangladesh is a part of the global apparel supply chain, the globally important apparel issues will also be in focus at the summit.
“We believe the suggestions that will be made by the panel of experts and industry professionals at the summit will provide useful guidelines for setting the priorities towards achieving a sustainable RMG industry,” he said.
The Dhaka Apparel Summit is a prime event on the textiles and apparel industry in Bangladesh. It 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 realise sustainable growth well into the 21st century.
The summit will offer a forum allowing visionary views to be expressed and discussed, and will offer a broad spectrum of proposals to further improve the industry’s environmental and sustainable credentials and bring to light various methods to achieve these goals.
The summit will hold three panel discussion sessions, offer a more open and interactive environment, and allow full audience participation and the opportunity for a valid exchange of ideas. The seminars will be attended by representatives of the governments, international organisations, economists, brand representatives, development organisations, employers, workers’ representatives, civil society members, academics, and media-persons from home and abroad.
Apart from local experts, some international experts will take part in the panel discussions on different topics. Pierre Mayaudon, ambassador and the head of delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, US ambassador to Bangladesh, Christopher Woodruff, Professor of Development Economics, University of Oxford, Tim Worstall, Senior Fellow, Adam Smith Institute, Martin Rama, chief economist (South Asia region), World Bank, Helena Helmersson, managing director, H&M Group, Hong Kong, Thomas Klausen, CEO, Dansk Fashion & Textile, Dr Jochen Frank Weikert, head of Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry (PSES) GIZ, Bangladesh, Srinivasa B Reddy, country director, ILO, Bangladesh, Peter McAllister, executive director, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Jill Tucker, head of Supply Chain Innovation and Transformation, C&A Foundation, and Gilbert F Houngbo, deputy director-general of the ILO, will be present at the summit.
The discussion will shed light on different issues, including the country's RMG industry, which is at the dawn of a new era in its development, with strides being taken towards achieving sustainable targets. The summit will offer a forum to express and discuss views with a broad spectrum of proposals to further improve the industry’s sustainable credentials. It also aims at bringing various methods to achieve these goals.