Delegation from U.S. Trade Representative meets BGMEA President
DHAKA, Sept 19, 2023 (BSS) - A high-level delegation representing the Office
of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Labour met
Faruque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and
Exporters Association (BGMEA) today.
The meeting, which took place at BGMEA Complex in Dhaka, aimed to discuss a
variety of crucial issues, including bilateral trade opportunities,
environmental sustainability, workplace safety, workers' rights, and
wellbeing, said a press release.
The U.S. delegation consisted of Brendan Lynch, Acting Assistant U.S. Trade
Representative (AUSTR) for South and Central Asia; Ms. Mahnaz Khan, Director
for South Asia, Office of U.S. Trade Representative; Christopher Kazlauskas,
Deputy Director, Office of Trade & Labour Affairs, U.S. Department of Labour;
Seamas Whitesel, Director for South Asia Regional Affairs, National Security
Council; and Ms. Leena Khan, Labour Attach‚, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of
BGMEA was represented by its President Faruque Hassan along with Vice
President Shahidullah Azim, Vice President Md. Nasir Uddin, Directors
Barrister Shehrin Salam Oishee, Faisal Samad, Abdullah Hil Rakib, Haroon Ar
Rashid, Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on ILO Affairs ANM Saifuddin, Chair
of BGMEA Standing Committee on Foreign Mission Cell Shams Mahmmud, and Chair
of BGMEA Standing Committee on Press, Publication, and Publicity Shovon
During the meeting, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan provided an overview of
Bangladesh's readymade garment (RMG) industry, emphasizing the industry's
progress in areas such as workplace safety, green growth, workers' rights,
and labour law reforms.
He also highlighted the government's initiatives to enhance workers' rights,
particularly through amendments to labour laws. Faruque Hassan further
briefed the USTR and Labour Department officials about BGMEA's initiatives,
including the arbitration-cum-conciliation committee (CAC), which offers
alternative dispute resolution services to workers at no cost.
The CAC, led by a retired district judge, plays a pivotal role in resolving
disputes between factory owners and employees, reducing the number of cases
brought before labour courts and saving time and resources for workers.
The meeting concluded on a positive note, with both sides expressing their
willingness to work collaboratively towards a more sustainable and worker-
friendly future for Bangladesh's RMG industry.