Helena Helmersson, H&M Group CEO attended meetings with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, and the state minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shahriar Alam, to discuss the advancement of Bangladesh’s garment industry.

The focus of the discussions revolved around transforming the garment industry into a circular model and promoting the development of the renewable energy market in Bangladesh. Specific mechanisms, such as Corporate Power Purchase Agreements, were explored as a means to bolster the generation of renewable electricity within the sector.

Helmersson also discussed reforms that could enhance Bangladesh’s competitive position as a sourcing destination, particularly in light of evolving legislation across various countries with State Minister Shahriar Alam.

H&M Group explains that Bangladesh has emerged as one of its primary production countries since the company established its first partnerships with Bangladeshi suppliers in 1982. It adds that with a local team of 500 individuals based in Dhaka, the group’s production office maintains a continuous dialogue with local stakeholders.

Helmersson also met with Faruque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), to establish the joint partnership dedicated to fostering a circular and climate-neutral garment sector in the country.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between H&M Group and BGMEA to solidify their commitment to making advancements in these critical areas.

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“As strong partnerships and clear industry-wide policies are key, we are grateful to have this dialogue with local stakeholders, in particular the government of Bangladesh and the Prime Minister. While we as a company have made good progress towards our goal to achieve net zero by 2040, we need to work together to overcome industry-wide challenges,” said Helmersson.

She added: “By joining forces, we can put the topic of circularity and decarbonisation on top of the industry agenda.”

The H&M Foundation made a generous donation to the Red Cross and Red Crescent in the wake of Cyclone Mocha, which hit Myanmar and Bangladesh earlier this month.