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Bangladesh Seeks G7 Support for Fair RMG Prices, Sustainable Supply Chain

Global brands will have to do their part to improve Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector if the low-cost country is ever going to have a sustainable supply chain — and that will mean paying more for product.

Speaking at a G7 stakeholders’ consultation on developing sustainable global supply chains, Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed called on the G7 countries (the world’s largest industrial nations: Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, United States) to encourage global brands to be fair in determining prices paid to RMG manufactures, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

Ahmed also addressed the host of policy, legislative, regulatory and administrative changes the government has instituted since the deadly Rana Plaza incident in April 2013, and said the improvements could form a template for replication in other nations.

Bangladesh has been working with global stakeholders to stabilize the sector that employs more than four million workers over the last two years, according to Ahmed, who added that the country would continue to make necessary changes to upgrade the industry as outlined under the Bangladesh Sustainability Compact — an EU-implemented action to promote better labor rights and more responsible supply chain management in garment manufacturing.

According to the Dhaka Tribune, Ahmed emphasized that many of the changes that have been made to improve Bangladesh’s garment sector are unique compared to other countries, and that the country is a safe place for developed world markets to source goods from. Present Ministers reportedly lauded Bangladesh for its progress and said the country’s present model for improving workplace safety, well-being and industrial relations should in fact be replicated elsewhere.

The German and French Ministers both informed the consultation that developing standards for a sustainable global supply chain and “decent work” should be key agenda topics for this summer’s G7 Summit in Germany.