Bangladesh RMG sector needs to focus more on Branding says stakeholders at Dhaka Apparel Summit

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Key outcomes from the sessions (Day-2):

Session 5: Bangladesh’s LDC Graduation- Impediments and Way forward

  • Bangladesh has become one of the most resilient countries so far. The private sector of our country is also quite prepared for the LDC graduation. Even though it will be highly helpful for the country if it gets help from the government in various aspects.
  • Once we graduate losing the preferential facilities is not going to hamper our exporting. The government is not thinking about any delay in graduation, but it is trying to extend the transition period.
  • Technology, Innovation and Design thinking are the three most important aspects the country should focus on.
  • H&M is going to be the first to pay the higher price if there is any rise in price. It will try to provide all the facilities possible like- a unified code of conduct.
  • To avoid Middle Income Trap, Bangladesh should start planning and implementation from now on. We lack in the productivity of the middle management and we should start training for it to be sustainable in the long run.

Session 6: Responsible business needs global alliance on due diligence

  • Measurable indicators can ensure due diligence across the industry.
  • Three points for ensuring due diligence-proper legislation applicable to everyone, what the legislation will do that is to move away from supply chain to value chain, and the urgent need of Bangladeshi suppliers to step up and build capacity.
  • Bangladesh has prepared her industry and went a long way in ensuring environmental and labour issues. Due diligence initiative is a positive thing and a potential source of competitive advantage for the industry.
  • Profits with principal means profit with a responsibility to people and the planet. The crucial things are a proactive approach, raising awareness and gap analysis.
  • Shared responsibility and capacity building by training and development are needed for ensuring the success of CSDD.
  • The contractual relationship is not enough anymore-it has to be a shared responsibility. A single network and annual performance measures can ensure Due Diligence success.
  • From the supplier’s perspective, CSDD should be the collective responsibility of all the stakeholders. The lack of collaboration from buyers is hurting suppliers. Shared responsibility, a universal code of conduct and regulatory authority is needed in this regard.

Session 7: Ensuring workers well-being

  1. Social protection, mental health and education are key factors for the worker’s wellbeing in the long run.
  2. Strong trade unions can play a significant role in ensuring workers’ rights.
  3. Workers have to get the feel of family in his/her workplace which will increase his/her productivity on a great scale
  4. Inspection, training and regular follow-up should be conducted to maintain the worker’s sustainable job security.
  5. As majority of the workers are women so they should get proper training and education to become the leader in their respective workplace

Session 8: Technology and how it can shape the industry in next 10 years – Addressing skill gaps

  • We need skills people such as soft skills are crucial for the technological transformation of the industry.
  • BGMEA is investing to upskill and reskill existing workers using industry 4.0 upgradation. Technology will not cause a loss of workforce as there is always a shortage of skilled workers.
  • We have a limitation is lack of training. Workers and employees should be trained first to reap the benefits of technology. Training can adjust machines and management.
  • The speakers also mentioned three insights regarding training – first, workers are satisfied with what they learn, second, it increases their professional competence and third, it has an economic benefit for them. The problem is somewhere else- not the tech, or the worker’s capability to learn.
  • Technology can provide economic as well as ecological progress. Current or future generations can only thrive by balancing social responsibility, economic activity, and the environment.
  • Just buying technology won’t increase productivity. We don’t need more people, we need more from the same people.

Session 9: Altering the chronicle of Bangladesh RMG industry narrative 

  • Focusing on branding
  • Joint ventures
  • Change the perception
  • focus more on social media
  • Websites of the companies can a vital role
  • Positive branding of Bangladeshi industries
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