Tofail seeks cooperation of developed countries to expand BD’s export

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DHAKA, June 26, 2018 (BSS) – Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh is looking for new markets to boost its exports and expressed the hope that the developed countries would continue to extend necessary cooperation in this regard.

“We need sincere cooperation from the developed countries for expanding our export market. As Bangladesh is going to graduate from LDC group, it needs support to boost export and keep rolling the wheels of its economy,” he said while speaking at a workshop on garment and footwear products of Bangladesh at Brussels, Belgium today.

The European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development jointly organized the workshop, according to a press release received here this afternoon.

Tofail Ahmed went to Brussels on June 24 to join the 4th review meeting of ‘Sustainability Compact’ for the Bangladesh garment sector.

He said Bangladesh is producing world-class footwear and the EU, the USA and Canada can import the quality footwear from Bangladesh like garment products.

“There is a huge demand of Bangladeshi footwear across the world and the EU, the USA and Canada can import the high-end footwear products from Bangladesh like ready-made garments,” he said.

The commerce minister said Bangladesh has long been exporting leather and leather goods to the developed countries with reputation. Bangladesh is capable to produce and export high quality footwear as it produces quality raw materials for footwear and there is also cheap skilled manpower, he added.

He said Bangladesh has implemented a series of programmes for the development of its garment sector. The labour law has already been amended to ensure labour rights and remediation programmes are going on to ensure workplace safety of workers, he said.

“Now, the garment workers are working in as a safe and work-friendly environment as most garments factories are compliant,” he added.

The commerce minister said owners of the garment factories had to spend huge money for improving the safety of factory buildings and workers but the global buyers are not giving fair price of garment products.

Mentioning the ILO-brokered Sustainability Compact with the EU, the US, Canada and the International Labour Organization (ILO), he said it is established on three pillars.

Bangladesh has ensured labour rights, building fire safety along with the health services of workers but the third pillar-fair price of garment products-is not getting importance.

“Now it is the time to take recommendations and effective steps to ensure fair price of Bangladesh RMG products,” said the commerce minister.

State minister for labour and employment Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu also spoke at the workshop.

Commerce secretary Shubhashish Basu, labour and employment secretary Afroza Khan, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Mohammad Shafiul Islam, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Md Siddiqur Rahman, Bangladesh Export Processing Zones executive director Major General Md Habibur Rahman Khan and Bangladesh ambassador to Brussels Mohammad Sahadat Hosain were present at the workshop.

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