BGMEA president Rubana Huq says factory owers must maintain international price standards

BGMEA president Rubana Huq says factory owers must maintain international price standards

The head of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has blamed low prices paid by international brands and retailers as one of the reasons so many factories have closed down over the last year.

Rubana Huq, who was appointed as BGMEA president earlier this year, says over 25,000 workers have lost their jobs since the 46-factory shutdown began in February – and is calling for assistance from the government. She also says the Bangladesh ready-made garment sector is facing challenges in staying relevant in the global market.

She emphasised the need for factory owners to maintain international price standards, adding lower price points are the "most crucial reason" behind the factory shutdowns. "Exporters must convince global customers to give us good price for our products."

Huq also adds exporters must target import markets that are "likely to pay Bangladeshi exporters a good price. In this regard, new markets should be explored constantly, and practice of deeper economic diplomacy should be fostered."

Bangladesh has taken several steps to compete with rival exporting countries, including the production of more value-added goods, widespread improvements to factory safety – and even establishing a reputation for environmental excellence.

As reported on just-style earlier this year, some 280 Bangladesh factories were in the process of getting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, which portrays the country's strong footing in green production.

Currently, the total number of LEED-certified green garment factories in Bangladesh is 101 according to data from the US Green Building Council, but the country is struggling to get a return on investment from such green initiatives, with the BGMEA saying neither the buyers nor the government has been paying incentives for such huge spending in green factories.

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