Bangladesh on Monday called for increasing prices of its apparel products considering huge investment made by apparel manufacturers that helped improved safety measures and working environment.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed made the call while delivering his speech at the fourth high-level follow-up meeting of the Sustainability Compact that held in Brussels at Albert Borschette Conference Centre.
“We’ve modernized the (RMG) factories. We’ve ensured building and fire safety with an improved working environment in place. Owners have invested a lot in these areas but price of apparel products is yet to be hiked. Price needs to be increased urgently,” Tofail Ahmed said.
Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh government has amended its Labour Law and the workers are enjoying their rights better than any time in the past, according to Commerce Ministry in Dhaka.
He said Bangladesh has taken preparation to avail of GSP plus benefit as Bangladesh is marching ahead towards a developed country.
State Minister for Labour M Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President M Siddiqur Rahman and Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) Executive Chairman Major General Mohd Habibur Rahman Khan, among other, were present.
The meeting titled ‘Five Years after the Launch of the Sustainability Compact: Taking Stock and Staying Engaged’ is being held from 2 pm to 6 pm (Brussels time) on Monday.
At the event, progress made under the Compact was discussed as well as what remains to be done, according to European Commission.
The meeting started with an opening address by the EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and ILO's Deputy Director-General for Policy Deborah Greenfield.
This was followed by exchanges on the implementation of the Sustainability Compact among its partners, workers and employers, manufacturers, retailers, representatives from other partners as well as civil society organisations.
The Sustainability Compact aims at bringing lasting improvements on labour rights and factory safety in the ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh.
Since its establishment, the Compact partners have actively engaged to address labour, health and safety issues and to encourage responsible business conduct by all stakeholders engaged in the ready-made garment (RMG) and knitwear industry in Bangladesh. As part of this process regular follow-up meetings have taken place.
In response to tragic incident of Rana Plaza in April 2013, the European Union, the United States, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Government of Bangladesh signed the "Compact for Continuous Improvements in Labour Rights and Factory Safety in the Ready-Made Garment and Knitwear Industry in Bangladesh" (the ''Sustainability Compact').
The government of Canada subsequently joined in January 2016.