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DHAKA – Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry generates a staggering 400 million tons of pre-consumer textile waste each year. This was one of the insights of the recent Made in Bangladesh Week, which concluded with a pledge to place more focus on recycling, among other goals.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacurers and Exporter Association (BGMEA), in partnership Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE), organised the week, which also ran parallel with Dhaka Apparel Summit, the 37th International Apparel Federation (IAF) World Fashion Convention, Bangladesh Denim Expo and Dhaka Apparel Expo among other events.

The week-long event with the theme ‘Care for Fashion’ was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, MP. The PM in her inauguration speech said: “When Bangladesh graduates from the ranks of LDCs [least developed countries], some benefits it currently has will be discontinued, but more opportunities will come after that.”

Noting that Bangladesh is setting up 100 economic zones in different parts of the country, she said: “We want local and foreign investments in these 100 zones.”

Bangladesh is target significant growth in its garment sector. The country sees itself as the natural successor to China, for years the largest – by far – textile exporter globally.

The Adviser to Prime Minister on Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman as a special guest in the inauguration ceremony said: “The BGMEA has declared its vision of achieving US$100bn apparel export by 2030 which is very much possible if all stakeholders work together from now onwards.”

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Faruque Hassan in his speech highlighted the progress of Bangladesh’s apparel industry in safety and sustainability in recent years. He said: “We are now also focusing on optimum use of resources, including making a shift from linear to circular model of business as Bangladesh apparel industry generates about 440 million tons of pre-consumer waste every year.”

The BGMEA envisions the country hitting a US$100bn export target by the year 2030, which would be about 10 per cent of the global apparel market share.

Made In Bangladesh week also saw the BGMEA Center of Innovation Efficiency and Occupational Safety and Health (CIEOSH) globally launched by Commerce Minister of Bangladesh Tipu Munshi, MP.

“We have a huge achievement in the RMG sector, while the Rana Plaza collapse changed the scenario. After the disaster, we gradually improved our workplace environment,” the minister said while speaking as the chief guest at the programme.

Munshi laid emphasis on ensuring occupational safety in achieving ambitious export targets for apparel.

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