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New BGMEA Board Pledges to Make Bangladesh Factories Safe

Bangladesh has elected a new board of its Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (the BGMEA), and the fresh council has pledged to make fire safety in apparel factories a top priority.

“We’ll work to ensure fire safety measures for the workers in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector as a priority,” the new BGMEA president, Atiqul Islam, told just-style last Friday. The new board, appointed in BGMEA elections, took over on March 25th.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will work with the new board members to implement the Better Work Programme, which involves a third organization, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and aims to “improve labour standards compliance and promote competitiveness in global supply chains, particularly in labour intensive industries.”

Whether the new board can bring Bangladesh’s safety standards to an acceptable level without losing Bangladesh’s competitive edge in the international market–in other words, if they can do so without raising the price of production too high–is yet to be seen. The board named improved efficiency through up-to-date technology and increased productivity as major components of their long-term plan.