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Faruque Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), has stressed the importance of enhancing workers' productivity and resource efficiency to promote sustainable growth in Bangladesh's apparel industry.
Speaking at a workshop in Dhaka on November 7, he emphasized the industry's need to balance short-term goals with long-term priorities through innovation, technological advancements, and knowledge-based transitions.
The workshop, titled "Sustainable Business Growth of the Apparel Sector of Bangladesh: Improving Workers Productivity and Resource Efficiency," was organized by the Solidaridad Network Asia in collaboration with BGMEA.
In his address, Faruque Hassan mentioned the substantial progress made in improving the well-being of workers, society, and the environment over the past decades.
However, he noted that there is still room for improvement in terms of efficiency and competitiveness. He also pointed out the challenges the industry faces as the cost of manufacturing continues to rise each year.
"In recent years, the costs of fuel, electricity, and gas have significantly increased, leading to higher transport and utility costs, as well as increased manufacturing expenses," said Faruque Hassan.
"Ensuring workers' well-being also means enhancing their efficiency through skills training and opportunities, ultimately enabling them to earn a better living," he added.
Hassan stressed that increased productivity benefits both factories and workers and has a direct impact on the country's GDP growth.
The workshop was also addressed by Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Government of Bangladesh; Thijs Woudstra, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands; and Selim Reza Hasan, Country Manager, Solidaridad Network Asia.
A presentation on Reclaiming Sustainability program was shared by Isaac Gyamfi, Chair of the Partnership Steering Committee, Reclaiming Sustainability.
The workshop featured two panel discussions with industry leaders, experts, and academia. The first panel discussed reskilling and upskilling workers for productivity enhancement, while the second panel explored the need for and the way forward in achieving resource efficiency.