According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh’s export earnings from ready-made garment (RMG) increased by 12.59 percent during the July-April period of the current fiscal year. Knitwear and woven export earnings crossed the target by 6.59 percent and 6.46 percent respectively.
Former Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Siddiqur Rahman said the government must provide fiscal support and help in improving communication systems which can help boost the export flow further.
In the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, as well as the fire at Tazreen Fashions, many major shifts have been seen in the industry. The Government of Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization (ILO) jointly launched a USD $24.21 million initiative to improve working conditions in the RMG industry in Bangladesh.
The present government has under taken several initiatives in order to ensure workers’ rights in this sector. The Labour Law 2006 was amended in July 2013 making it more favorable for ensuring workers' rights, including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. In 2017, the government also set up a body named the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) under DIFE of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) with the aim of overseeing the progress of remediation-related activities factories. The government also set Tk 8000 as the minimum monthly wage which became effective from December 1, 2018.
The RMG sector contributes over 83 per cent of total export earnings of the country. As a result, the government has taken the decision to reduce the rate to help reduce the production cost and to remain competitive in the global markets. The government has cut source tax on export of apparel products to 0.25 per cent from 0.60 per cent from the fiscal year 2018-19.
In the last few years, Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in the RMG sector and also earned the trust of foreign buyers who want to ethically source their products. The government’s investment in this sector has now paid off as we have now as our exports have reached an all-time high.