US ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena has urged the stakeholders to work together in utilising the opportunity offered by the global brands to transform the apparel industry of Bangladesh.
“The challenge now is for the stakeholders to seize this opportunity, to embrace change and constructively address the fundamental issues of workers’ rights, fire safety and factory structural soundness, thus setting the stage for Bangladesh’s emergence as a preferred brand,” he told a function in Dhaka on Monday.
He said tangible action on the issues is also necessary to regain GSP facilities.
The US envoy was addressing the launching ceremony of DCCI Help Desk and US Products and Services Info Center at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expecting that the recent disasters would bring about fundamental transformation in the country’s clothing industry.
“The time has come to transform the apparel sector of Bangladesh. All of us…owners, workers, government, buyers, international organisations, friends and partners of Bangladesh…all of us must work together to ensure that the horrors of Tazreens Fashions and Rana Plaza are never repeated.”
To ensure that the tragedies will never occur in Bangladesh, he stressed on understanding first the cause of the horrible, deadly disasters. “America will not buy shirts stained with the blood of Bangladeshi workers,” he said.
Expressing concern over trade union, Mozena said some continue to oppose workers’ rights to freely associate and organize, and harass or fire workers who seek to create legitimate unions.
He said some create false unions to freeze out space for independent unions and said the backwards steps represent the thinking of a few, not the forward thinking of most stakeholders who seek to transform the sector, he added.
The envoy said the apparel sector will choose a path that makes Brand Bangladesh a preferred brand, a brand that buyers and consumers want to buy, a brand that leads Bangladesh to becoming the largest exporter of apparel in the world, replacing China, he adds.
“I am confident that the stakeholders, all the stakeholders will choose the path that makes Brand Bangladesh a mighty global brand, the best brand, the biggest brand, indeed, the brand of the world’s largest exporter of apparel.”
FBCCI President Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed called upon the US envoy to do the best for reinstating the GSP facilities for Bangladesh.
The DCCI Help Desk and US Products and Services Info Center will boost country’s trade and investment as well as attract foreign direct investment for the development of our economy, said DCCI President Sabur Khan.
He said DCCI Help Desk will provide company registration related all services like name clearance, company winding up registration as one stop service.
DCCI Help Desk will work for the betterment of businessmen and it will reduce cost of doing business, said Bijon Kumar Baishya, Registrar of the Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC).