A delegation of Associated British Foods (ABF), led by its chief executive George Weston, met with BGMEA President Faruque Hassan to discuss potential collaboration in achieving shared goals around sustainability and opportunities for expanding business base in Bangladesh. The delegation also included Paul Lister, CFO of ABF; Paul Marchant, CEO of Primark and Matt Rhodes, manager of Primark.
BGMEA vice president Miran Ali, directors Faisal Samad, Navidul Huq, Barrister Vidiya Amrit Khan, chair of BGMEA standing committee on Press, Publication and Publicity Shovon Islam and chair of BGMEA standing committee on Trade Fair Mohammad Kamal Uddin were present at the meeting held at BGMEA Complex in the capital's Uttara on Aug 16, said a press release.
They discussed issues of mutual interests including collaboration in strengthening partnership with the Bangladeshi suppliers to produce more innovative and value-added products and improve their environmental performance.
During the meeting, BGMEA president Faruque Hassan provided an overview of the readymade garment industry of Bangladesh, especially with focus on its current standing in the global market, vision, strides in workplace safety, environmental sustainability, and circular fashion.
He also spotlighted the Sustainability Strategic Vision 2030 of Bangladesh's RMG industry, explaining how it looks into all ESG issues pertinent to the sector and is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Faruque apprised the delegation of the initiatives to strengthen human rights and environmental due diligence in the RMG sector of Bangladesh.
The presentation made by the BGMEA President showed the current situation of Bangladesh's apparel exports to the UK market and potential of enhancing the market share.
He also briefed the ABF delegation about the key priorities of the industry including innovation, technology upgradation, product diversification, skills development, and circularity in a bid to address key challenges of the industry and become more competitive in the global market.
Extending thanks to ABF and Primark for choosing Bangladesh as one of the largest sourcing market, Faruque Hassan urged them to increase buying garments, especially high-value items and manmade fibre-based apparels from the country.
Chief executive of ABF George Weston praised the developments of Bangladesh's RMG industry in the areas of workplace safety, and environmental sustainability.
He also lauded BGMEA for its initiatives and efforts for the development of the garment industry. He expressed willingness of Primark to give more focus on Bangladesh as their sourcing market.
Both sides showed interest in deepening their collaboration in relevant issues including sustainability and manufacturing competitiveness alongside workers' wellbeing and education.