Readymade garments (RMG) exports to North American and European nations make for the majority of Bangladesh’s export profits, accounting for 75% of total export earnings. Unsurprisingly, the financial downturn in those nations makes us worried.
Despite considerable anxiety among entrepreneurs, politicians, and economists, the garment business has been mostly unscathed by the global crisis. The world’s attention is attracted to Bangladesh’s remarkable economic and social growth in recent decades as the country celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s losses, the South Asian nation is on course to become a middle-income country in the coming years. Bangladesh is now one of the world’s largest textile exporters, contributing 84 percent of the country’s total exports.
This is due to the garment industry’s tremendous growth and modernisation over the last decade, as well as the progress it has achieved in improving the working conditions of the country’s four million garment workers.
The Bangladesh Garment Makers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is the country’s top trade association, representing woven, knit, and sweater garment manufacturers and exporters. Bangladesh’s top sector in terms of employment, output, and foreign exchange earnings is readymade garments (RMG). RMG alone accounted for around 78 percent of the country’s annual foreign exchange earnings.
The apparel industry employs over 4.0 million people. Nearly the previous two decades, RMG exports have grown at a pace of over 20% each year. Since its foundation, the BGMEA has worked to promote and assist the garment sector through government policy lobbying, member services, and factory worker rights and social accountability.
The Bangladesh Garment Producers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is the country’s sole authorized trade association, representing all garment manufacturers and exporters. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is the primary garment export trade group in Bangladesh, representing 4,490 clothing manufacturing companies.
Riaz Garments, founded by Mohammad Reaz Uddin, began as a tailoring shop known as Riaz store. Later, in 1973, the name was changed to Riaz Garments from Riaz Store, and in 1978, the company began exporting products to other countries by selling 1 million shirts to a South Korean company called “Olanda.” “Desh Garments” is another RMG pioneer from Bangladesh. Desh Garments began collaborating with the South Korean manufacturer “Daiyuu” in 1979.
At the very same time, numerous garments were introduced, including Shamsur Rahman’s Stylecraft Limited, AM Subid Ali’s Aristocraft Limited, Engineer Mohammad Fazlul Azim’s Azim Group, and Major (Retd) Abdul Mannan’s Sunman Group.
BGMEA is committed to creating and promoting links with overseas clients, business and trade groups, chambers of commerce, and research organizations in order to expand the clothing export base. It also encourages international commercial discussions. The primary goal of the BGMEA is to create a favorable business climate for tight and mutually advantageous relationships between producers, exporters, and importers, so assuring constant development in the country’s foreign exchange profits. The organization is led by a 27-member board of directors who are chosen for a one-year term. A president leads the board, who is aided by four vice presidents and a skilled staff of officials.
In 2006, the RMG industry brought in more than $9 billion. Through its activities and programmers, the BGMEA continues to enhance commerce by boosting sales of Bangladeshi-produced garments and achieve an outcome in the Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG) sector, which includes establishing and cultivating relationships with foreign consumers, businesses and trade associations, chambers, and research organizations.
The BGMEA also serves as a lobbying organization for the RMG industry and facilitates trade discussions with international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the International Labor Organization, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
BGMEA works with the goal of growing Bangladesh’s RMG sector and economy. With such a vision, BGMEA established the following missions and set its strategic course accordingly-
To begin with, to safeguard and promote the interests of the sector, assuring a steady increase in the country’s foreign exchange revenues. Second, the BGMEA is committed to ensuring that garment workers have access to all lawful rights and advantages. In addition, the organization works to improve society and the environment.
How BGMEA works
A 35-member elected Board of Directors governs BGMEA. The Board of Directors is chosen to serve for two years. Seven Vice Presidents with crucial responsibilities, as well as an experienced secretariat, support the President in developing and implementing the organization’s critical policies and initiatives.
The President is the association’s top executive authority. The Board of Directors is assisted by various Standing Committees, each of which is chaired by a person with extensive experience in the relevant sectors. Strict respect to democratic standards and the code of conduct is observed in the BGMEA elections, which have been considered as a trail blazer in Bangladesh trade organization elections for its pre-election projection caucus and election-day discipline.
BGMEA’s regular activities include sending members to participate in apparel fairs at home and abroad, establishing and promoting contacts with foreign buyers, business associations, and chambers, and collecting and disseminating information on various aspects of the garment industry to members, apparel buyers, and other users. BGMEA assists garment makers in the disposal of stock-lots, the right use of textiles, yarn, acrylic, wool, and other materials, and the implementation of safety measures to prevent factory fires.
BGMEA assists the government in textile quota talks with the United States and Canada, as well as monitoring the execution of the Memorandum of Understanding on the abolition of child labor in the country’s garment sector.
Functions of BGMEA
The primary goal of the BGMEA is to create a healthy business climate for tight and mutually advantageous relationships between producers, exporters, and importers, so guaranteeing the country’s foreign exchange revenues develop steadily. BGMEA issues UD to its exporters and hence oversees export. In collaboration with the government, the BGMEA plays a significant role in leading the sector. BGMEA’s regular activities for its members, garment buyers, and other partners are as follows.
- To protect and defend the industry’s interests by assisting in the creation of government policies that promote the sector’s growth.
- Committed to protecting the interests of its members and their employees by implementing lawful garment workers’ rights and benefits.
- To negotiate and advise with foreign and domestic authorities in order to promote the garment industry in all conceivable domains.
- Maintain contact with overseas customers, business groups, and chambers of commerce.
- To give the required information to overseas purchasers about all aspects of the RMG sector.
- By organizing various garment shows at home and abroad, BGMEA provides opportunity for local producers to meet with overseas buyers and develop new relationships.
- To prevent child labor in BGMEA industries with ongoing surveillance.
- Continue and expand coordination with key government ministries.
- Continue to provide educational assistance to employees’ children and make arrangements for skill training for children removed from BGMEA member factories.
- Provides information services to its members through monthly newsletters, circulars, and Dhaka’s first B2B online site, which connects exporters and buyers from across the world.
- In addition, in the year 2000, BGMEA developed its own institute, the “BGMEA Institute of Fashion & Technology (BIFT).” BIFT is still training experts for this field today through courses in Fashion Designing and Garment Merchandising, as well as other certificate, diploma, and short courses. It is being transformed into a university.
- Promotes computer-based management solutions to its member units.
- Participate actively in all sectoral trade talks in order to get better market access and GSP advantages.
- The BGMEA-hired lobbying agency has been seeking to gain duty-free access to the US market.
- The BGMEA has implemented Service Books for all workers in the industries.
- In the factories, the BGMEA will establish a workers’ welfare committee.
- BGMEA has guaranteed that the minimum wage is implemented in 99.99 percent of all factories.
- For crises, the BMGEA has established a Crisis Management Committee.
- BGMEA often assists victims of natural disasters by providing relief, rehabilitation, and other assistance. BGMEA provided enormous assistance and help to SIDR-affected individuals. BGMEA also rehabilitated 100 households in Manikgonj by building a weaver’s hamlet (Taath Palli).
- The BGMEA awards scholarships to the children of textile workers. Every year, 2000 students receive scholarships in Dhaka and Chittagong.
- With the goal of generating qualified professionals for the RMG industry, BGMEA provides training programs through 27 TechnicalTrainingCenters and three additional centers. More than 15000 trainees will be formed as a result of this initiative, and BGMEA will place them in industries. BGMEA has trained and hired over 15,000 individuals to date.
- BGMEA is acquiring 34 vocational training institutes in order to supply varied skill sets to the jobless.
- BGMEA conducts frequent fire drills and fire safety programs at member factories. Despite the fact that 9 fires occurred in 2010, no one was killed.
- BGMEA has 12 medical clinics for its employees and raises HIV/AIDS awareness. Approximately 6 million employees have already received medical care, and 80,000 workers have received HIV/AIDS and reproductive health education.
- The BGMEA plans to create a comprehensive database system for garment workers that will include all readymade garment employees’ information.
- BGMEA will launch a UD automation system to expedite custom procedures. Such an internet method would add dynamism while shortening customs processes.
- BGMEA delivered basic food products at reduced prices to workers during the past Ramadan through 12 facilities in Dhaka and Chittagong.
- On June 17, 2008, BGMEA and IFC-SEDF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to monitor occupational safety and health condition of employees engaged in BGMEA member industries in Dhaka. Under this initiative, all active factories in Dhaka have already been examined by BGMEA social compliance monitors, and a database is being developed.
Contribution of BGMEA
The importance of the RMG industry cannot be overstated. During the previous two decades, the field of RMG has seen continuous expansion. The RMG industry has grown rapidly from 30 businesses in 1980 to almost 5700 in the 2011-12 fiscal year.
RMG export revenues account for around 76 percent of total export revenues. Bangladesh’s RMG sector earned US$ 5,686.06 million in FY 2003-04, US$ 6,417.67.67 million in FY 2004-05, US$ 7900.80 million in FY 2005-06, US$ 9,211.23 million in FY 2006-07, US$ 10,699.80 million in FY 2007-08, US$ 12.35 billion in FY 2008-09, and US$ $24.49 billion in FY 2013-14, according to statistics.
Well here are some key factors which actually have an influence on the garments sectors are-
- a large labour force
- Human resources with a high level of expertise,
- Upgrades in technology,
- Support from the government for textiles and garments
- Zones designated for special economic purposes or for the processing of exports,
- Villages dedicated to textiles and clothes are being established.
- The motivation to use locally sourced materials,
- Import duties on inputs/machines have been reduced.
- Reduced income taxes,
- And there are international benefits such as GSP, GSP+, duty-free entry, and so on.
Using the foregoing critical criteria, one may easily control the worldwide readymade garments market. However, there is one additional factor to consider. If you apply those vital components in our readymade clothes industry, you will acquire precedence in the world’s famous buyers’ notebook.
These are the essential factors:
- New Product Development Strategy,
- Product Diversification Strategy, and
- Market Diversification Strategy are all examples of cost-effective strategies.
3.20 million (80 percent) of the 4.0 million personnel engaged in BGMEA member factories are women, with the majority of them being disadvantaged and economically impoverished women. To a creditable extent, the country’s RMG sector has reduced Bangladesh’s overpopulation unemployment problem by giving the most jobs after agriculture, transportation, trade, and industry.
This sector has helped the underserved segments of the population, significantly altering the country’s socioeconomic situation. Such empowerment and employment increased knowledge of children’s education, health safety, population control, and disaster management, among other things. It is a watershed moment in the history of Bangladesh.
With the help of global brands and international development partners,people expect that the government of Bangladesh, BGMEA, and BKMEA will be able to safeguard the safety of the RMG industry and preserve the country’s socio-economic growth momentum.