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Bangladesh Government Calls for Higher Clothing Prices

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The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheik Hasina, has called for buyers from Western countries to increase the cost of garments in order to improve conditions in Bangladeshi factories.

When meeting with Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Develompent Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, Hasina said that the Bangladeshi government is working hard to raise wages for workers and create a safer working environment, according to BSS.

She also stated that Western garment makers should keep orders in Bangladeshi factories, despite the fire incidents at some factories and the Rana Plaza collapse. Rather, buyer’s should pay more, allowing factory owners to improve conditions and create better economic conditions for workers.

Wages in the sector have risen by 82 percent since 2009, and laws have been modified to protect the right of workers to collectively organize, she said, siting several steps her government has taken to improve the sector.

The government is also working to streamline all Bangladesh garment sector units.

Ploumen responded by saying that the Dutch government is especially interested in raising living standards for women, who comprise the majority of garment sector workers, and is willing to cooperate.

Ploumen’s visit was prompted by concerns over conditions in Bangladesh RMG factories. Earlier this month, her country agreed to contribute €9 million to improve working conditions in the garment industry.

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