On 6 June, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Alison Blake, visited two readymade garment (RMG) factories in Gazipur to reaffirm the UK’s support for Bangladesh’s RMG sector.
The RMG sector plays an important role in sustaining Bangladesh’s economic growth and reducing poverty. It is also vital for women’s empowerment in Bangladesh
Both factories, Echotex Ltd. and Dalas Fashions Ltd., receive support from the UK through the Skills and Employment Programme in Bangladesh (Sudokkho) and the UK’s work to support the National Action Plan for the Ready-made Garment Sector in Bangladesh ( the SNAP-B Programme).
Since the Rana Plaza tragedy in April 2013, the UK has increased its support to improving safety and workplace conditions. The UK also funds skills training for RMG workers so that they contribute towards increasing the overall productivity of the sector.
At Dalas Fashions Ltd., the British High Commissioner congratulated the factory on making progress to address remediation issues and said “While much progress has been made towards improving workplace safety in the RMG sector, continued efforts are needed to carry out factory remediation. It is important that momentum is not lost and that remediation remains a top priority for the industry.”
At Echotex Ltd., in addition to touring the factory, she visited the training centre and emphasised on the importance of skills development.
Later the British High Commissioner said:
With increasing competition in the global apparels trade, Bangladesh needs to maintain its competitive edge and capitalise on its largest asset - its human resources. Investing in the skills development of its workforce, as Echotex has done using its in-house facilities, will help it do this.”
Notes to editors
- The new UK Aid Strategy has reconfirmed the UK Government’s commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas development assistance and we are the only G7 country to meet this target. We invest heavily in Bangladesh’s development, spending £185m last year. Support over the last 5 years has, amongst other things, helped lift 1.5 m Bangladeshi citizens out of extreme poverty, provided access to safe water for 1.3m people, helped 500,000 women give birth safely and ensured that 500,000 boys and girls complete primary school.