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Apparel exporters urged to strengthen business capabilities

Apparel exporters urged to strengthen business capabilities

President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Faruque Hassan has called upon apparel exporters to boost their business capabilities in order to adapt to evolving market dynamics. Speaking at a meeting with BGMEA members of the Chattogram region on Wednesday (Dec 6), he urged them to adopt a pragmatic approach in business negotiations, planning, and restructuring investments to cope up with the emerging challenges. "While the RMG industry is currently navigating through challenging times, addressing immediate concerns, it is imperative for us to think long-term to stay competitive in the global market," said Faruque. The meeting was attended by BGMEA First Vice-President Syed Nazrul Islam, Senior Vice-President S M Mannan (Kochi), Vice-President (Finance) Khandoker Rafiqul Islam, Vice-President Md Nasir Uddin, Vice-President Rakibul Alam Chowdhury, former First Vice-Presidents S M Abu Tayeb and Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, along with Directors of BGMEA, said a press release.

In his address, Faruque provided an overview of the current status of the RMG industry, with focus on the impacts of the global economic situation, challenges associated with implementing new wage structures, and the priorities to maintain industry competitiveness in the long run. He also mentioned that the industry is going through many challenges including increased cost of production due the hike in prices of electricity, gas, and bank rates.

Highlighting the recent increase in minimum wage, Faruque said the hike aims at ensuring a decent livelihood for the industry's workers. "Ensuring workers' well-being means enhancing their productivity, which benefits the industry," he added.

The BGMEA president urged the garment manufacturers to engage in discussions with buyers for a rational increase in prices to support the implementation of the new minimum wage. "I've already written to our valued buyers, requesting them to adjust prices for orders, considering the standard of living of our workers and inflation," remarked Faruque.

He emphasised the importance of fair prices and ethical sourcing for a smooth transition to the new wage scale. "BGMEA is actively collaborating with the government and various stakeholders to support the sustainable development of the RMG industry," he added.

Faruque called upon the member factories to find innovative ways to optimize costs, invest in technologies to enhance efficiency, and reduce waste.

Acknowledging the industry's current challenges, he expressed optimism of overcoming them through collective efforts. "We faced challenges before and emerged even stronger. With our collective efforts, we will be able to overcome all challenges and ensure a brighter future for the industry," he said.