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17 October, 2019 08:57:41 AM
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RMG sector key driver of economy

Salman tells EU team
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
RMG sector key driver of economy
Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, poses for a group photo with the visiting European Union delegation at Bangladesh Investment Development Authority office in Agargaon area of the capital yesterday. Independent Photo

The Bangladesh readymade garments (RMG) industry has grown in the space of a few decades to become the second largest in the world. As a result of initiatives taken, the status of labour rights and safety at work has improved significantly, said Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, yesterday (Wednesday).  

He was speaking at a roundtable meeting with European Union (EU) delegates. The foreign delegates are visiting Bangladesh to participate in the 9th EU–Bangladesh joint commission, EBA (Everything But Arms), held at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) office in the capital, yesterday. Explaining the RMG situation to the EU representatives, Rahman said the RMG sector has become a key driver of the Bangladesh economy and the nation’s development. RMG exports contribute over 80 per cent of the nation’s export earnings and employs around four million workers, an estimated 55-60 per cent of whom are women.

The child labour condition in Bangladesh has improved tremendously since the government took up several projects. The projects were designed to make direct contribution to various strategic areas of intervention of the National Plan of Action, thus assisting the government to realise its commitment to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, explained Rahman.

When the EU delegates asked him about export diversification, Rahman said: “We have diversified our export products such as leather, jute and jute goods, garments accessories and software. Our apparel accessory makers and packagers are providing the most important backward linkage to the RMG sector. However, it could also be the next big export-earning sector, as USD 7 billion already came from this.”

Stepping towards the IT sector, Rahman said the ICT Division and the Bangladesh Freelancer Development Society have taken an initiative to create a database of the country’s freelancers and provide them a digital card called “Free ID”, which they can use for banking activities and other formal uses.

“All this information will be fixed in the card with a QR code, and only institutions that have agreement with the BFDS can access it,” he added. Through this card, they can easily assess a freelancer’s financial strength and position in this industry, he said.

Currently, about six lakh people are engaged in freelancing in the country, among which about two lakh are regularly earning from it, he added. Caroline Vinot, head of Division, Asia and the Pacific-Regional Affairs and South Asia, European External Action Service (EEAS),European External Action Service (EEAS), Nikolaos Zaimis, adviser, Sustainable Development; Economic Partnership Agreements, Lluis Prats, head of Unit-International Issues, Directorate-General for Employment, were present at the roundtable meeting.  

SI

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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