BGMEA President Faruque Hassan and Vice President Miran Ali met with Stephen Lamar, President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) in Washington on September 9.
They had discussions on various issues including how to improve cooperation between BGMEA and AAFA in order to deepen mutual business engagement and explore areas of future collaboration.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan highlighted the unprecedented progress the Bangladesh RMG industry has made over the years in safety, sustainability and social compliance, which have earned the industry global accolades.
A recent investigation report by Hong Kong-based supply chain compliance solutions provider QIMA ranked Bangladesh‘s garment industry second in the âEthical Manufacturingâ category. In addition to ensuring workplace safety, Bangladesh is home to the largest number of green clothing factories in the world.
He urged AFOA to promote Bangladesh as a safe and sustainable clothing sourcing destination among its members and encourage them to source more clothing, including non-cotton items from the country.
The President of BGMEA highlighted the future prospects of the industry and underlined the importance of upgrading the industry, especially in the areas of improving skills and efficiency, technological upgrading and product diversification, especially non-cotton products.
Faruque Hassan praised the investments of AFOA members in these areas, particularly in technical and non-cotton textiles and high-end clothing items.
He urged US brands and buyers to work with their suppliers to strengthen their capabilities in manufacturing the apparel items that have demand in the US market. Product diversification is very important to ensure sustained growth of the garment industry in Bangladesh.
The President of BGMEA also explained how the Bangladesh RMG industry has been able to recover by addressing the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also pointed out that production costs have increased as the price has fallen in the US market. He urged for justified prices and asked for the support of AFOA and its members to be more empathetic towards their supply chain partners in order to make the supply chain sustainable.
AFOA has expressed its willingness to work closely with BGMEA to promote the Bangladesh brand and business interests through their membership.