The Readymade Garments (RMG) sector of Bangladesh : exploring sustainability dimensions
AuthorAmin, Khan Md. Nurul
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The readymade garments (RMG) industry is the backbone of the economy of Bangladesh and work as a catalyst for the development of the country. That is why, sustainability of RMG sector is the extreme necessity of the growing economy of Bangladesh. This study has been conducted to explore selected sustainability dimensions of this important sector of the growing economy of this country. The main research tools include secondary literature review, focus group discussion, in-depth interview, uncontrolled simple observation. Shockwaves were sent worldwide after the loss of 1,136 lives when Rana Plaza collapsed on 24 April 2013. This incident occurred just months after the fatal fire at Tazreen Fashions in which 112 died. It was noticeable that the Ready Made Garment (RMG) sector of Bangladesh had reached a crucial juncture. These incidents have been the wake-up call for concerned quarters in recognizing the necessity of improving occupational safety and working condition in RMG factories. To maintain the confidence of the global buyers and to safe guard the lives of near about five million workers fundamental changes relating to safety, inspection, compliance, product innovation, market search had to be made to do business in descent manner. After that devastating industrial accident of the world, Government of Bangladesh, US government, Private sectors, BGMEA, BKMEA, International Labour Organization, International Buyers, Civil society, NGO, Development partners decided to work together to improve conditions of the garment factories in the country. Cooperation and collaboration between related stake holders for rights and workplace safety of workers are the necessity of the present moment. Improving worker and consumer welfare by upgrading skills and literacy should be a regular practice of the concerned stakeholders. Government must steer the total process along with all other related parties. RMG sector of Bangladesh requires breaking into new products through more neutral and rational trade policy and taxation and bonded warehouse schemes; and concerted efforts to attract foreign direct investment, to encourage investment and export diversification. Searching of nontraditional market besides traditional export destinations is one of the fundamental requirements for the sustainability of RMG sector of Bangladesh. If government can offer good governance to its citizens, no one will feel any necessity to raise her/his voice. And country will continue in peace and harmony. That will bring sociopolitical stability along with sustainable growth in every quarter in the country particularly for the RMG.