Four RMG companies in Bangladesh have joined a German-led Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, aimed at achieving social, environmental and economic improvements in the sector.

The partnership was promoted at the recent Dhaka Apparel Summit 2014 by Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, German Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, who also inaugurated the event.

The Declaration of Accession to the partnership was signed by four Bangladeshi companies: DBL Group, Niagara Textiles, Saiham Knit Composite and JMS Holdings, which have a combined annual turnover of EUR580m (US$719.2m) and employ 35,000 workers.

The companies have been collaborating with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) in an effort to improve their social and environmental standards.

Fuchtel also introduced the “Labourline” concept – a labour dispute settlement helpline providing information on labour-related issues and designed to address shortcomings in resolving labour disputes.