BGMEA President says in an interview with Daily Industry
Staff Correspondent: President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Faruque Hassan has mentioned that Bangladesh has regained its second position in the world market in RMG exports beating the Vietnam. Faruque Hassan, who is also the Managing Director of Giant Group, made this remark in an interview with the Daily Industry. He also highlighted the present situation of RMG sector of Bangladesh in the interview. The following is an excerpt from his conversation:
Daily Industry: Some RMG factories are not maintaining the Covid-19 health protocol guidelines set by BGMEA for workers. How does BGMEA supervise the issue?
Faruque Hassan: We made 15 teams in Dhaka and 6 teams in Chattogram with members of directors and health experts. They visit the factories everyday following the checklist to ensure Covid health guidelines.
Daily Industry: How long would it take to bring all the workers under vaccination?
Faruque Hassan: It is too hard to declare a specific date to complete the vaccination of total 42 lakhs of workers. We believe that every citizen have the right to get vaccination. If we demand vaccination firstly for our sector, that’s not fair at all. It is a complex process to maintain national ID card for every worker to get vaccination. Now we have taken part in the thana vaccination program by the government, and we will make team by doctors and nurses for every garments factory for vaccination.
Daily Industry: What is the problem are you facing to manage the buyers in this pandemic situation?
Faruque Hassan: When the first wave of Covid-19 had affected and lockdown started on 26th March, 2020, that was a hard time for RMG sector for the recovery of the business. Government had allowed us to reopen the factories after 15-20 days. But we took time to follow the WHO and DGHS guidelines. Our patience and business policy in a hygienic way attract the international community. So we achieved the USGBC leadership award in this June. Every prominent buyer has the office in our country, we send the sample, and after approval the order we maintain supply chain in fixed time. We depend on the virtual platform in this pandemic situation.
Daily Industry: France has released a film “The Last Mercenary” on 30th July, 2021 directed by David Charhon. There the Belgian actor Van Damme said, “Yes, Bulletproof Tuxedo, Made in France. I’d be dead if it were Bangladesh.” What do you think about the dialogue?
Faruque Hassan: France is our big buyer, they import 98pc of RMG products from Bangladesh. Bangladesh does not make bullet proof materials. So there is no chance to make troll about the quality of Bangladeshi products. We are going to write to US Ambassador Earl R Miller, drawing attention to the movie that contains “derogatory comments” about “Made in Bangladesh”.
Daily Industry: Government has set the export target of the current fiscal year, which is more than the last year. What do you think, is it achievable?
Faruque Hassan: We believe that we can export more than our target because we research about our problems and make product diversification to attract the buyers. As we were in back foot for the July lockdown and Eid-ul-Azha, we overcome the situation soon.
Daily Industry: Bangladesh imports raw materials from India, but the pandemic situation has slowed down the land port that may delay your production timeline. How would you solve this?
Faruque Hassan: We already wrote a letter to the High Commissioner of India to intervene the matter. Because, the amount of order in India will be increased in future. So we should ignore the weekly holiday in the port area. We hope it will be solved soon.
Daily Industry: RMG depends some of positions on foreign manpower. BGMEA took several initiatives to minimize it. How long it will take to replace them by domestic manpower?
Faruque Hassan: In last 10 years, we have increased our export triple but we did not increase the foreign experts. We made fashion technology institute for making our local manpower skilled.
Daily Industry: Do you have any step to write “Made in Bangladesh” tag of every product in our own language?
Faruque Hassan: We compete in international market, where there is no demand to make tag in Bangla language. But in local market, manufacturer can make the tag in Bangla.
Daily Industry: Some of foreign countries especially Chinese investors are interested on Bangladesh market. What should be done to attract them?
Faruque Hassan: We always welcome the foreign investors in our country. The government has already planned to make more EPZs to support the foreign investments.
Daily Industry: Vietnam has overtaken the Bangladesh position as second in RMG sector in the world. What time it needs to obtain the second position again for Bangladesh?
Faruque Hassan: Nothing to worry here that the data were from the year of 2020, where many European orders had been cancelled for the worldwide pandemic. We already have gained our second position in this year because of huge orders.
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