Sammilita Parishad, a platform of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) registered members, has expressed its commitment to bringing about sustainable growth to apparel exports, utilising the government's policy support.
Abdus Salam Murshedy, the chief election coordinator of the Parishad, stated the commitment while inaugurating the electoral office of the Parishad, in the capital's Gulshan area on Monday. He formally introduced the panel leader Faruque Hossain on the occasion.
"At a time when the country's apparel sector is facing different sorts of challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, strong leadership is needed to tackle the situation and bring sustainable growth," he said, adding that Parishad is committed to fulfilling the requirement.
The biennial election of the BGMEA for the term 2021-23 is slated for 4 April this year.
Two key groups – Sammilita Parishad and Forum – are all set to contest in the election of the supreme body of garments manufacturers.
Recently, Forum alleged that the garment factory owners are now using BGMEA as a tool for coming to power.
Salam Murshedy spurned the allegation, saying the premier was pleased with the qualifications of the garment factory owners and presented prestigious positions to some of them.
He thinks that Forum has undermined BGMEA by making such remarks.
However, Salam Murshedy, also a lawmaker from Khulna 4 constituency, castigated the recent initiative of BGMEA to prepare a biometric voter list and update their photos, terming it "illogical."
According to the BGMEA Charter, the association has no authority to take such steps after the announcement of the election schedule. Such an initiative must be approved at the annual general meeting, he added.
Apart from this, the move will inflict additional hassles on the association's members as some of them are now abroad, while some are sick, he said.
The BGMEA members have been selecting their leaders through elections in a democratic manner since 1990. Sammilita Parishad have so far led the supreme trade body 11 times out of 14.
A third panel named Swadhinata Parishad has been contesting in the election the last few terms.
The last two committees of BGMEA were formed through negotiation between Forum and Swadhinata Parishad.
Salam Murshedy thinks that such negotiation has undermined the spirit of BGMEA, when the association is called an institution of service. He also said that the association under their leadership has failed to provide its members with desired services.
Revealing his action plan, the panel leader, Faruque Hasan, said he will work to scale up exports of high-value products.
Bangladesh's apparel exports are centered on cotton-based products as they compose 72% of the total apparel exports. However, around 74% of the international market is based on fiber products.
Faruque vowed to strengthen communication with leading foreign brands to grab the market of high-value products and expand export opportunities.