Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Rubana Huq has urged the authorities concerned to publish the revised Bangladesh National Building Code quickly to help the apparel sector avoid unnecessary cost of Western prescriptions in the name of implementing safety measures.
"Do not allow the West anymore to suppress us," she said while addressing a workshop at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on Wednesday.
Rubana said, "After the 2013 Rana Plaza incident, the industry had to invest a large amount of money to implement the safety measures in line with the prescriptions of the Western retailers' platforms – Accord and Alliance – that missed the national context."
She said the prescriptions became more expensive for the apparel makers.
"We have invested about $1.5 billion for installing international standard equipment instead of national standard for ensuring fire safety during the last six years. The world-class fire hydrant system and fire alarms are not working in our country due to humidity," added Rubana.
The inception workshop of the proposed study on "Supply Chain Resilience of the RMG Sector in Bangladesh" was organised by the National Resilience Programme being implemented by the Programming Division of the Planning Commission.
Rubana suggested incorporating other sectors in the study that is expected to develop resilience strategies for the supply chain of the RMG sector in the country.
Planning Division Secretary Nurul Amin presided over the workshop while Planning Minister MA Mannan was present as the chief guest.
In the keynote presentation, Islamic University of Technology Professor Dr Moinul Hossain described how resilient the RMG sector is.
The objectives, scope, methodology and probable outcomes of the study are scheduled to be published in April next year.
"The objectives are to review the existing supply chain system of the RMG sector, implications of natural disaster and climate change related risks, impacts of natural disasters on transportation network, future RMG trade on supply chain system and formulate strategies to improve and strengthen the resilience of the sector's supply chain," Moinul said.
Terming resilience "very important" for survival and moving the economy forward, the planning minister stressed the need to strengthen the overall capacity through skill development of the workforce to cope with future challenges.
Speakers at the workshop emphasised disaster and climate resilience in supply chain process of the RMG sector in Bangladesh for sustainable economic growth.