‘This is a challenging time for the world, for Bangladesh and particularly for the apparel sector due to the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic’
The Sammilita Parishad, led by Giant Group Managing Director Faruque Hassan, has won the biennial election to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) for 2021-23 on Sunday, bagging 24 out of 35 director posts.
“This is a challenging time for the world, for Bangladesh and particularly for the apparel sector due to the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.
"My main agenda is to ensure financial support and backup from both the government and Bangladesh Bank to tackle the ongoing second and third wave, which is already hitting us badly," Faruque Hassan said.
"My vision for BGMEA is to ensure that it becomes an organization that prioritizes service delivery for its members, where its members can receive them without any hassle. As a leader of the RMG sector, which is the lifeline of Bangladesh's economy, I will take some long, medium and short-term steps to address the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This has to be done with policy support from the government and Bangladesh Bank," he added.
"I want to unite the BGMEA so we can face the challenges that lie ahead, and also help the apparel sector grow," he said.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune the newly-elected BGMEA president also said that he wanted to work closely with the government and the European Union (EU) to retain duty-free market access in the region up to 2031, after the LDC graduation in 2026, which he thinks is possible through what he calls apparel diplomacy.
“The BGMEA should work as a united force for all apparel manufacturers of Bangladesh, irrespective of their stature,” Faruque Hassan also said.
The election results for the remaining 11 director posts were elected from the Forum panel led by ABM Shamsuddin, chairman of Hannan Group and a former vice-president of BGMEA.
The voting began at 9:00am and continued uninterrupted until 7:00pm, with more than 86% votes cast from 1,996 voters, 86.56% of the total voters.
Voting took place at the Hotel Radisson Blu in Dhaka and the BGMEA office in Chittagong.
Faruque, a senior vice-president of the association, secured 1,204 votes.
Current President of the trade body Rubana Huq got 1,157 votes, while ABM Shamsuddin, Forum’s presidential candidate, bagged 904 votes.
Meanwhile, Rubana and her son Navidul Huq both won in the election from the Forum panel.
The mother and son duo will work together as directors in the next board of the BGMEA, a first in the history of the trade body.
"For the last two years, I worked as the president of the organization, receiving love from all the members. This time they elected me as a director. I received the second-highest number of votes, which proves their love for me. I have worked with sincerity and dedication for the last two years. I will try my best to cooperate with the new committee," said Rubana.
The board of directors of the apex platform for garment makers comprises 35 directors, of which nine are from the Chittagong zone.
The newly elected 35 directors would elect a president, a first vice-president, a senior vice-president, and five vice-presidents on April 16.
As per the schedule, the new committee will take charge in a ceremony on April 20.
A total of 1,604 voters are in Dhaka and 392 in Chittagong.
Founded in 1983, the BGMEA plays a pivotal role in Bangladesh’s apparel sector as the country’s economic growth largely depends on garment exports.